The EMBL was established in 1974. Current members include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. EMBL promotes European cooperation in basic research in molecular biology, provides the necessary infrastructures and participates in the on-going development of state-of-the-art instrumentation for modern biology.
With its programme for visiting researchers, its international Ph.D. programme and the numerous courses and workshops it organizes, EMBL is making and will continue to make a significant contribution to the training of European molecular biologists.
Because of the amplitude, quality and impact of its work, EMBL has become one of the world's leading molecular biology laboratories and is seen in the United States as a synonym for quality European research in this area. It stimulates research in molecular biology within the European scientific community through hundreds of projects which are initiated every year in cooperation with laboratories in the member states. Its service facilities have received wide recognition for their essential contribution to the maintenance of quality research in molecular biology.
EMBL headquarters are in Heidelberg where around 300 researchers work. Research groups in mouse genetics are located in Monterotondo near Rome where the European Mutant Mouse Archives (EMMA) is also situated. Two outstations in Hamburg and Grenoble enable EMBL and the biologists of member states to use the German Electron synchrotron DESY and the ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) as well as the neutron source of the ILL (Institut von Laue-Langevin) . Finally, the outstation in Hinxton near Cambridge, the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), manages Europe's most important databases in the field of molecular biology and houses research activities in bioinformatics. Altogether, almost 1000 people work at EMBL.
The Swiss scientific community was instrumental in creating the Laboratory and has been a steady supporter of EMBL from which it benefits in many ways. Swiss financial participation amounts to 3.2% of the annual EMBL budget of almost 71 million €. The corresponding credit is managed by the State Secretariat for Education and Research.