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+ Research Professional Research Professional Cristina Gallardo Email alerts Log Out HE News Funding Awards Our Institution Help (© Articles Opportunities Search Go Pec = rl Horizon 2020 Politics Regulation Universities MMI Infrastructure Germany France Netherlands Sweden Ireland Italy Other Nations. Views Peoerat[ erat porn Astrobiologists shape pan- 14 Sop 17, 08:00 European institute By Cristina Gallardo A group of astrobiologists from across Europe Is developing a Proposal to create a European Astrobiology Institute, which goo ‘would mirror the NASA Astrobiology Institute in the United States. BS Comment on this article Proliminary discussions were held at a meeting ofthe European ‘Science Foundation in Strasbourg on 8 September, where a steering ‘committee was established, A second meeting wil take place in late ‘autumn, with a view to launching the EAI in January 2019. [Nigel Mason, a physicist at the Open University in the UK, is one of the coordinators ofthe project. He said that the EAT's team would ‘continue meeting in Strasbourg, but that the institute would primarily be virtual “The EA's aims and objectives will be to act as a forum for European collaborations in astrobiology research, but also with other major players, especially the US,” he said “The idea forthe institute emerged from the European Astrobiology Roadmap project funded under Framework 7. The roadmap led to a white paper published in the International Journal of Astrobiology in 2016, which highlighted the need for @ European organisation to bring together researchers from all strobiology-related disciplines. ‘The EA is intended to provide researchers with support for networking and for writing collaborative bids to the EU and schemes joint funded by agencies in the US and Europe. It might also offer ‘grants for events. ‘The UK is playing a leading roe in setting up the institute, Mason said. The proposal predates the UK's vote to leave the EU, but Mason is adamant that Brexit will not stall the project because the EAI willbe set up as a “pan-European geography-based organisation rather than as a poitcal entity” “There is no reason why the UK could not be a member ofthe EAI,” he said. “The role of the UK partners is open for alte bt of interpretation, but at least up to March 2019 the regulation is that British organisations can be members of bids, and they would certainly 62.” Other EAI members could include astrobiology organisations in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, ‘Sweden and Switzerland. This article also appeared in Research Europe B comments