All you need to know about the Joint Research Centre (JRC)

The Joint Research Centre (JRC)’s mission is to provide the European Commission with independent, evidence-based scientific and technical support to enhance research.

How is the JRC funded? The JRC budget amounts to around €330 million annually. It uses the funding to support the EU institutions through scientific and technical advice o policy. It is funded by two programmes:

All the budget and resources figures are available in the JRC annual reports.
In which scientific areas is the JRC active? The JRC’s activities are clustered into 10 scientific areas, as follows:

  • Agriculture and food security (agricultural biodiversity, agricultural markets and international trade, agricultural monitoring, agricultural technological innovation, desertification and drought, fisheries and aquaculture, forestry, rural development, etc.);
  • Economic and Monetary Union (financial and economic analysis, financial market regulation, regional economic analysis and modelling, etc.);
  • Energy and transport (aviation safety and security, bio-fuels and energy, energy efficiency, renewable energy, transport safety, etc.);
  • Environment and climate change (air-quality and greenhouse gases, climate change, coastal and marine environment, soil, water, etc.);
  • Health and consumer protection (alternatives to animal testing and safety assessment of chemicals, consumer products, food and feed safety, GMOs, nanotechnology, etc.);
  • Information society (cyber-security, digital earth, digital economy, digital living, learning and skills, etc.);
  • Innovation and growth (education and lifelong learning, industrial research and innovation, smart specialisation, sustainable production and consumption, etc.);
  • Nuclear safety and security (nuclear knowledge management, training and education, nuclear safety, nuclear science base for standardisation, preparedness for radiological emergencies, etc.);
  • Safety and security (accident prevention, antifraud, crisis management, surveillance, transport safety and security, etc.);
  • Standards (certified reference materials, nuclear science base for standardisation, reference materials for food analysis, reference materials for GMO analysis, standards for wireless services, etc.).

How and where does the JRC work? The headquarters of the JRC is located in Brussels. However, the JRC’s work is carried out in seven scientific institutes, as follows:

  1. The Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES): providing scientific and technical support to EU policies for the protection of the environment and the management of natural resources (Ispra, Italy).  
  1. The Institute for Energy and Transport (IET): enhancing sustainable and efficient transport in Europe (Ispra, Italy and Petten, the Netherlands).
  1. The Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP): providing support in the areas of food, consumer products, chemicals and public health (Ispra, Italy).
  1. The Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC): providing support in the sectors of global stability and security, crisis management, maritime and fisheries policies and the protection of critical infrastructures. It also performs statistical and information analysis, and acts in the field of engineering, information technologies (IT), satellite image processing and analysis, open source information analysis, structural mechanics and risk assessment (Ispra, Italy). 
  1. The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS): mainly contributes to the conception and development of key EU policies such as agriculture, food security, Digital Economy, low-carbon economy and resources efficiency (Seville, Spain).
  1. The Institute for Trans-uranium Elements (ITU): works to protect European citizens against risks associated with the handling and storage of highly radioactive material. It works very closely with national and international bodies in the nuclear field, both within the EU and beyond, as well as with the nuclear industry (Karlsruhe, Germany and Ispra, Italy).
  1. The Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM): providing measurement standards and scientific advice on measurements and standards for EU policies in the field of safety and security (Geel, Belgium).

International collaboration. The JRC collaborates with many external organisations, located mainly in EU Member States, in the following contexts:

  • joint research projects;
  • networks with national enforcement laboratories and agencies;
  • knowledge transfer;
  • participation in workshops and seminars;
  • mobility and training schemes for young scientists.

In addition, the JRC has put in place a network of National Contact Points (NCPs) whose mission is to act as intermediaries and operational contact points between the JRC and stakeholders from the scientific community, industry and public authorities in their respective countries.
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