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In 2008, the European Strategy Forum on Research infrastructures (ESFRI) identified a critical need for an adequate and coordinated European BSL4 capacity to enable the European Union to address the challenges posed by the emergence and re-emergence of highly pathogenic agents. Since then, ERINHA is on the ESFRI Roadmap.
The development of the ERINHA infrastructure started on the 1st November 2010 by entering into a preparatory phase funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union (ERINHA project). In January 2016, an 18-month project was launched to finalize the preparatory phase. The ERINHA2 project (January 2016- July 2017) was funded under the EC Horizon 2020 programme.

During two preparatory phases, the ERINHA consortiums prepared the ground for the successful set up of the research infrastructure by developing the ERINHA concept, vision and approach, as well as strategic, financial, legal and operations frameworks of the infrastructure.