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In 2000, the European Commission approved a project to establish an European Plant Genetic Resources Information Infra-Structure, EPGRIS. The EPGRIS proposal was submitted to the European Union (EU) Directorate for Research, Fifth Framework Programme, Thematic Program 'Quality Of Life And Management Of Living Resources', Action 14 'Support for research infrastructures', Field 14.2. 'Biological information resources' (call of 15 November 1999). This project lasted 36 months, ending in December 2003.

This project was a three-year concerted effort, coordinated by the Centre for Genetic Resources, The Netherlands. The aim of the project was to establish an infrastructure for information on plant genetic resources (PGR) maintained ex situ in Europe by: (1) supporting the creation and providing technical support to national PGR Inventories; and (2) creating a European PGR Search Catalogue with passport data on ex situ collections maintained in Europe.

The final output of this project was the European Search Catalogue – EURISCO – which means "I find" in ancient Greek. The Catalogue was developed to be frequently updated from the National Inventories (NIs) of PGR and to be easily accessible via the Internet.

The project supported European countries in the creation of the NIs through workshops, technical advice, staff exchanges, and by developing standards. The Catalogue automatically receives data from the NIs, effectively providing access to all ex situ PGR information in Europe.

The central search catalogue – EURISCO – was created and maintained until 2014 by Bioversity International (formerly the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute [IPGRI]), which assumed the responsibility for maintaining the system after completion of the project on behalf of the Secretariat of the European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources (ECPGR) (formerly the European Cooperative Programme for Crop Genetic Resources Networks (ECP/GR). The EURISCO catalogue was publicly launched in September 2003.

Since 2014, EURISCO is being maintained and advanced by the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK Gatersleben).


EPGRIS3 is a follow up to the project EPGRIS2, which was submitted to the European Commission but not funded.

The project is based on self-funded voluntary actions and it aims to provide a platform for collaboration in the field of documentation and PGR information in Europe. Collaboration is welcomed whenever the proposed activities add value to PGR documentation and information systems in Europe, and increase overall returns.

EPGRIS3 is a self-funded action of the Documentation and Information Network of the European Cooperation Programme for Plant Genetic Resources (ECPGR).

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