Joint Research Centre (JRC)

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission’s science and knowledge service that supports EU policies with independent scientific evidence throughout the whole policy cycle. The JRC is largely funded by the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation, Horizon 2020.

The main activities of the JRC:

  • supports the EC in policy making, development, implementation and verification;
  • addresses the key social problems through the development of new methods, tools and standards;
  • shares know-how with the EU member states, scientific community and international partners;
  • encompasses six research sites with more than 3000 staff employed.

The JRC sites and their thematic areas:

  • Brussels (headquarters)
  • Geelhealth and consumers: biotechnology, food and feed safety, food fraud detection, healthcare, nanotechnology, nuclear safety and security threat detection
  • Isprasustainable resources, space, security migration, transport, health and consumer protection, energy efficiency and climate change, growth & innovation, but also nuclear research: nuclear safeguards, non-proliferation and nuclear security
  • Karlsruhenuclear safeguards and security: excellence in the nuclear science base for standardisation, knowledge management, education and training, support to the policy of the union on nuclear safety and security, contribution to the long-term decarbonisation of the energy system.
  • Pettenenergy, transport, climate: low carbon energy systems, battery performance and safety interoperability, smart energy systems, energy storage, hydrogen and fuel cell testing, energy infrastructures and security of supply energy efficiency, etc.
  • Sevillesocio-economic and techno-economic growth: circular economy and industrial leadership, digital economy, economics of agriculture, economics of climate change, energy and transport, fiscal policy analysis, human capital and employment territorial development.

Main forms of cooperation:

Research networks: the JRC cooperates with more than 650 partner organisations, 15 of which are Estonian.

Cooperation agreements: the JRC has concluded approximately 200 cooperation agreements and memoranda of understanding with public and private research organisations, universities, state and international bodies. Most of these agreements regulate joint research, information and personnel exchanges.

Access to research infrastructure and laboratories: the JRC research infrastructure and laboratories (38) are open to external users working in academia and research organisations, industry, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and more in general to the public and private sector. Research projects accessing JRC facilities are only charged the additional costs associated to such access, e.g. the purchase of materials (access to the nuclear research infrastructure is free of charge). Market-oriented users have to cover all full access costs themselves.

Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships: In 2016, the JRC launched the Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships programme to establish strategic cooperation with institutions of higher education that have excellent research credentials and an international reputation. The programme is designed to train a new generation of doctoral students in specific scientific fields, with a focus on the science-policy interface

Analyses, reports and databases: analyses and reports conducted by the JRC are a valuable free-of-charge resource for both researchers and policy makers.

Employment: the JRC employs people from EU countries and candidate countries to EU membership, who bring their skills, talents, passion and rigour into the scientific activities meant to underpin EU policies.

Useful links
Leaflet “Estonia and its collaboration with the European Commission’s science and knowledge service
JRC newsletter “Science Flash for You” with the most relevant to Estonian policymakers and citizens news in Estonian language
JRC monthly newsletter:
JRC training opportunities:
JRC job opportunities:

Contacts in Estonia
Estonian representative on the JRC Board of Governors — Maarja Adojaan (Estonian Research Council):
Estonian contact point for JRC — Carmen Kivistik (Estonian Research Council):