The European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC-ERIC) is a distributed Research Infra-structure. Flemish operators of this ESFRI received €3.825.201 FWO funding for the period 2021-2024, which allows them to remain globally competitive and push the frontiers of Blue Science by sharing expertise, data and protocols. Through their expertise and facilities, built over decades of competitive research development, the Belgian EMBRC operators (UGent (7 laboratories), KU Leuven, UHasselt and Flanders Marine Institute) and the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural sciences) excel in specific domains of marine science (ecology, developmental biology, biodiversity, conservation, aquaculture, microbiology, genomics, lipidomics), and provide unique expertise in the ERIC. Furthermore, the combination of taxonomic excellence (globally threatened through a lack of funding) for specific groups (protists, macro-algae, bacteria, invertebrates and fishes) and high-tech infrastructure (technology platforms, experimental facilities, cultures and biobanks) makes Flanders a key-contributor to EMBRC-ERIC. In addition, through the development of a fully operational Marine Training portal (https://www.marinetraining.eu/ ) as a global access point for marine and maritime training information, and through the coordination of the International Master in Marine Biological Resources (http://www.imbrsea.eu/ ), an EMBRC flagship initiative and globally the largest international graduate program on Marine Bioresources, the consortium makes a substantial and indispensable contribution to the operation of the European network.
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