ECRA (European Climate Research Alliance)

Launched on October 4th, 2001 at the European Parliament, the European Climate Research Alliance (ECRA) aims at developing a network of research institutions representing member countries and focusing their activities on the scientific challenges in the field of climate for the next decade. Indeed the network is a key means to strengthen, expand and optimize the European climate research capabilities through the sharing of knowledge and the excellence national research facilities, as well as through a bottom-up approach by realizing collaborative pan-European programmes and infrastructures. Specifically, ECRA’s effort is targeted at the long-term, durable integration of the excellent but often dispersed European research expertise, in the attempt to optimize the use of human resources, the observation capability, the modelling (from global to regional), the interaction between observation and technologies (satellites, new measurements, etc), field activities and infrastructures. By so doing, the impact of scientific results would be maximized and the European climate research reinforced.

Equally important is ECRA’s objective to act as a means to give climate and climate change researchers  a single and more authoritative voice so that, on the one hand, the European Union could use ECRA as a technical and knowledge support for developing EU climate and climate change policies, and, on the other, it could consider the experts’ proposals and opinions when identifying the key climate research themes for Europe through the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation "Horizon 2020".

ENEA is one of the founding members of the Alliance, along with the eight leading climate and climate change research centres from Germany, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden.  The member research institutions are, respectively: Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres (HFG), Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), Norwegian Meteorological Institute on behalf of the Norwegian Climate Centre (NMI), Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT), Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI). Later on, also the National Centre for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS) in the United Kingdom, and the Global Change Research Centre in the Czech Republic  became members of the ECRA Executive Committee. Among the Italian members other than ENEA it is worth mentioning: CNR and AREA Science Park in Trieste.

To date, four Collaborative Programmes have been started:

  • Arctic Climate Stability and Change
  • High Impact Events and Climate Change
  • Sea Level and Climate Change
  • Changes in the Hydrological Cycle.


More information at: