Press releases


Mar 7 2024

Federal Education and Research Minister Stark-Watzinger emphasizes network’s importance for German researchers

Instruct-ERIC Director Harald Schwalbe welcomes Germany as a member of European Research Infrastructure Consortium

The Federal Republic of Germany has become the 17th member of the pan-European structural biology consortium Instruct-ERIC, it was announced today by the research infrastructures network, whose director – Prof. Harald Schwalbe – researches and teaches at Goethe University Frankfurt. Instruct-ERIC facilitates the joint establishment and operation of research infrastructures of European interest for the analysis of molecular structures, including for basic biological research and the development of active medical ingredients. The network operates on a not for profit basis, is funded by the member countries and governed by member country representatives. 

FRANKFURT. Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Germany's Federal Minister of Education and Research, emphasizes: "The rapid and successful development of active substances against the SARS-CoV-2 virus illustrated the importance of good and trusting international cooperation among scientists, especially in the field of integrated structural biology. Exchanging information at an international level is crucial, especially when it comes to using specialist infrastructures. There are many advantages to us joining Instruct-ERIC, which not only gives our researchers access to European high-tech facilities, but also is a prerequisite for us to continue to deliver outstanding contributions to structural biology in the future." 

Prof. Harald Schwalbe, who has served as director of Instruct-ERIC since 2022, emphasizes: "Scientific institutions and companies in Germany have contributed significantly in recent years to the development and establishment of structural biology methods and technologies. As such, we recently inaugurated a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer of the latest generation at Goethe University Frankfurt, which we can use, among others, to examine flexible regions in biomolecules with high precision." 

However, Schwalbe adds that in the field of structural biology, it is not individual high-tech devices that play the most important role, but diverse and sophisticated research facilities that complement each other methodically and enable integrative research approaches. "To that end, we will establish in Germany a network of Instruct centers with associated laboratories that meet European standards, which in turn will allow access to all facilities, across locations. In addition to enabling technological advancements, Instruct-ERIC also finances and organizes research stays and trainings for researchers, thereby contributing to the education of the next generation of researchers." 

Instruct-ERIC is a pan-European distributed research infrastructure making high-end technologies and methods in structural biology available to users. ERIC stands for European Research Infrastructure Consortium, and refers to a specific legal form that facilitates the establishment and operation of research infrastructures with European interest, on a not for profit basis. ERICs are funded by subscription from member countries and governed by member country representatives. Instruct-ERIC is comprised of 17 member countries and organizations: Belgium, Czech Republic, EMBL, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and United Kingdom. Through its specialized research centers in Europe, Instruct-ERIC finances and organizes research stays, trainings, internships and R&D awards. By promoting integrative methods, Instruct-ERIC enables excellent scientific and technological development that benefits all life scientists. More at 

Background information:
Harald Schwalbe Appointed as New Instruct-ERIC Director (2022) 

Ultra-high field spectrometer: Newly developed device for cutting-edge research inaugurated at Goethe University Frankfurt (2023) 

Internationales Konsortium zur Erforschung von SARS-CoV-2 abgeschlossen (2022) 

Images for download: 

Caption: View of the 1.2 gigahertz NMR spectrometer at Goethe University, one of the world's largest research devices of its kind. Photo: Uwe Dettmar for Goethe University Frankfurt 

Further information
Prof. Dr. Harald Schwalbe
Institute of Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Center for Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance
Goethe University Frankfurt
Tel. +49 (0)69 798 29737
Twitter/X: @Schwalbe_BMRZ @goetheuni @BMBF_Bund

Editor: Dr. Markus Bernards, Science Editor, PR & Communication Office, Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 1, 60323 Frankfurt, Tel: +49 (0) 69 798-12498,