European Astrobiology Institute

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European Astrobiology Institue

2nd Communication of the
Interim Board of the European Astrobiology Centre

Following the discussions over the last years about the establishment of a European Institute of Astrobiology (EAI) an Interim Board consisting of members of the main European organisations involved in Astrobiology has been established which will elaborate a detailed Action Plan for the establishment of such an institute. First deliberationss focused on the tasks and the structure of the institutes and deliberations about other important issues concerning the institute will follow and information will be constantly updated. Several important features of the proposed future European Astrobiology Institute were discussed on January 10th 2018.

1. Tasks of the EAI

The tasks of the EAI were discussed by the Board. The Board will propose the following tasks of the EAI to the European Astrobiology Community and to the General Assembly.

  • > To promote and implement multidisciplinary European research projects in all fields of astrobiology. 
  • > To foster international collaboration in astrobiology inside Europe as well as with other international astrobiology communities
  • > To act as a forum to discuss new findings in astrobiology through organisation of conferences, meetings, and on-line seminars and to disseminate new research highlights among the scientific community and the general public in an apt way after thorough scrutinisation
  • > To form the kernel of a network for institutions, institutes, as well as researchers to plan cooperative astrobiology projects
  • > To perform training, education, outreach and dissemination in astrobiology in Europe in a comprehensive, synergistic and collaborative way.
  • > To collect and disseminate astrobiology-related scientific and programmatic information
  • > To initiate proposals for grants in order to obtain external financial support (e.g. EU projects).
  • > To engender debate on important legal and ethical issues in astrobiology and space research
  • > To interact with European transnational organisations (e.g. ESA) and European Research agencies on programmatic issues and ensure awareness of astrobiology research with decision makers by
    • - acting as a strong voice for the European astrobiology community.
    • - approaching and informing decision makers in governmental and non-governmental organisations at a national, regional and European level in a coordinated manner in order to - promote astrobiology research in Europe as transdisciplinary research activity.
    • - contributing to the development of a common European research area and research policy in the field of Astrobiology.
  • > To formulate and continuously update a long-term astrobiology research strategy for the European Research Area.
  • > To collaborate with astrobiology networks and institutes inside Europe and beyond.

These tasks will be integrated in the Action Plan of the EAI.


2. Structure

The following main bodies of the EAI will be proposed by the Board:

  •  > A General Assembly
    • - acting as the highest decision-making body of the EAI,
    • - defining  the structure and the general policy of the institute,
    • - electing the chair and vice-chair
    • - approving budgets and reports by other bodies of the EAI.

Note: Each participating organisation will send one delegate to the General Assembly


    > Several Working Groups will be established with the following responsibilities

    • - define scientific themes and fields of activities (e.g. outreach, training) of the EAI

Note: Working Group leaders and co-leaders will be appointed by the General Assembly.

  • > A Management Committee consisting of:
    • - the Chair
    • - the Vice Chair(s)
    • - The Working Group Leaders

Note: All above bodies will be responsible for coordinating the activities of the EAI between General Assemblies.

  • > An Executive Committee formed by:
    • - the Chair,
    • - the Vice Chair(s)
    • - the Administrative Officer, appointed by the Host Organisation (who will be administrating the EAI) which will be responsible for the day-to-day adminis
    • tration of the EAI.

3. Future Actions

Important tasks of the Interim Board for the immediate future include:

  • > the drawing up of a time plan for  the launch of the EAI
  • > the setting up of a web-site providing information to  the community
  • > the launch of a dialogue with the whole European Astrobiology Community and the recruitment of institutions to the EAI





CSO Approval date: 14/11/2013
Starting date: 15/05/2014
Ending date: 14/05/2018

Action Chair:
Dr. Muriel GARGAUD (FR)

Vice chair:
Prof. Wolf GEPPERT (SE)

STSM Manager:
Prof. Nigel MASON (UK)

Web Manager:



Grant Holder Financial Representative:

Mrs Annick Caperan

Science Officer:
Dr. Mafalda QUINTAS

Administrative Officer:
Ms Ange Marie Ina Uwase



A Trans-Domain Action supported by COST.

COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020



Involved countries

View the Interactive Map
of Member Countries

Participating Countries
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

COST International Partner Countries
Canada (UQAM), South Africa (Univ. of Johanesburgh), Russian Federation (Institute of Geology, Petrozavodsk), Australia (University of Sydney), United States of America (University of Hawai)

Specific Organisations
European Space Agency (ESA)

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs)

Aiming at fostering collaboration, sharing new techniques, and infrastructure that may not be available in other participants' institutions or laboratories. STSMs are intended especially for young PhD researchers, but they are open to senior researchers as well. View the documents at this link.

 It should be explicitely noted that Master students are not eligible for STSMs which are for PhD students and more experienced researchers.

The life-Origins COST Project

Life-ORIGINS (TD1308) is a Trans Domain European COST Action dedicated to the scientific investigation of the origins and evolution of life on Earth and habitability of other planets.

The Action has specifically excluded the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life in its portfolio. Creationist theorems are also outside the Action’s remit.

Individuals are not allowed to use the name of the Action, its logo or any corporate identity of COST TD1308 in any communication without prior approval of the Management Committee.

All publications referencing the support of the Action should be sent to the appropriate Working Group chair at the time of submission.