On Friday October 26th the Department of Health confirmed that the Irish government has approved Ireland becoming a full  member of the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN-ERIC network). The ECRIN-ERIC is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium which is a not-for-profit intergovernmental organisation that supports the conduct of multi-national clinical trials in Europe. ECRIN is based in Paris with European Correspondents located in the member countries. Ireland’s membership of ECRIN will bring the number of full members to 9 which now includes France, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. Both Switzerland and Slovakia at present have observer status and for the past number of years the Health Research Board and HRB CRCI have engaged with ECRIN and attended meetings of the organisation as an observer.

Dr. Fionnuala Keane, HRB CRCI Chief Operating Officer commented “Our new status as full members of ECRIN will allow increased access for Irish patients to multi-national clinical trials, will make it easier for Irish researchers to extend their own trials internationally, and will help improve patient safety and quality of care. HRB CRCI looks forward to building stronger links across Europe as full ECRIN members.”

ECRIN Director General Jacques Demotes (front left) at the HRB CRCI International Clinical Trials Day event earlier this year.

Membership of ECRIN will be funded through the Health Research Board and our accession to full member status will be welcomed by researchers and research organisations across the country. The timing of the Government decision is opportune and will position Ireland as the only native English speaking country in the ECRIN network post-Brexit and will assist in allowing Ireland to act as country sponsor for pan-European clinical trials.

For further information about ECRIN, visit their website.