ESTEEM3's Journey Towards a Legal Structure for a Unified European Electron Microscopy Community

03/05/2023 | General

ESTEEM3's Journey Towards a Legal Structure for a Unified European Electron Microscopy Community


ESTEEM3, a consortium of 20 transmission electron microscopy (TEM) partners, has been influential in the European Research Area and recognized by the EC and member states. As the consortium looks towards future, it aims to establish a legal structure for better coordination and long-term planning.

This article summarizes the Deliverable 1.3 which highlights the progress made towards creating a new legal structure for the European TEM community.


ESTEEM3's Success and the Need for a Legal Structure:

Since its inception in 2006, ESTEEM3 has grown from 11 TEM labs to 20 partners, continuously providing access to advanced techniques and instruments for various fields. The ESTEEM network has benefited PhD students, post-docs, and young TEM scientists, while also gaining influence at the European level. To continue its impact, ESTEEM3 needs a legal structure capable of coordinating European projects.

First Steps Towards a Legal Structure:

In 2017, a few ESTEEM3 partners joined the ERIC "INSTRUCT" consortium and submitted an unsuccessful European Design Study project called "DREAM". Despite this, the DREAM consortium was recognized as a potential TEM network and later became part of the Analytical Research Infrastructures in Europe (ARIE) initiative. The e-DREAM association, which includes nine founding partners, was established as a stepping stone towards creating a legal structure. e-DREAM has since submitted and secured funding for the IMPRESS project, aiming to develop and standardize electron microscopy instrumentation.

Establishing a Legal Structure to Unite European EM Infrastructures:

e-DREAM is currently finalizing the establishment of a legal AISBL entity, expected to be completed by summer 2023. The association's purpose is to unite European electron microscopy facilities for excellent research, promote scientific development, and represent the community's interests at various levels. e-DREAM plans to coordinate, network, and fundraise, while also attracting new members.

In the long term, e-DREAM aims to become a well-identified legal structure for electron microscopy in Europe, possibly establishing an ERIC. The association is already in discussions with European Commission policymakers about securing sustainable funding for its long-term operation.


As the TEM community in Europe continues to grow and make a significant impact, the establishment of a legal structure like e-DREAM's AISBL entity will pave the way for even greater collaboration and advancements in the field. With a focus on uniting facilities, promoting research, and securing funding, e-DREAM is set to become an influential player in the European Research Area.

ESTEEM3_D1.3 [PDF, 461.97 KB, not barrierefree]