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