Skip to main content

Ecraid publishes white paper on warm-base networks

Ecraid was built around the concept of 'warm-base' networks: a novel approach to doing clinical research that increases trials’ speed, efficiency, and quality. Our inaugural white paper lays out the principles and key advantages of a warm-base network. It can be useful to those who conduct multi-centre clinical research themselves, as well as to anyone with a vested interest in taking their research to the next level. 


In clinical research, site selection is often approached in an ad hoc manner, which can have a considerable negative impact on set-up time, cost, and quality. 

The warm-base network approach facilitates a faster, more efficient, and rigorous site selection process. Rather than a temporary collaboration, a warm-base network is a permanent infrastructure in which trial sites with a common focus are engaged in recruiting patients in one or more clinical studies on a continuous basis. It is supported by a coordinating team which uses its deep knowledge of the sites’ capabilities and experience to match each study with the sites that best fit its needs.

Notably, this scalable approach allows rapid response and adaptability to new trials and emerging infectious disease threats, making it especially advantageous in the event of outbreaks and pandemics. 

The white paper

Ecraid's first in-house white paper lays out the principles of a warm-base network in clinical research and showcases its advantages. It also provides practical advice on how to set up such a network. Finally, to bring the theory to life, the paper offers a concrete example of an existing warm-base network – Ecraid’s hospital network CLIN-Net.  

This resource can be useful to those who conduct multi-centre clinical research themselves, as well as to anyone with a vested interest in finding the most suitable sites for their trial faster and more efficiently.

Building a pan-European clinical research network 

The warm-base network approach is the beating heart of Ecraid – a non-profit foundation that advances clinical research in the field of infectious diseases. We rely on a vast pan-European network of hospitals, laboratories, primary care sites, paediatric care sites and long-term care facilities to deliver rapid, cost-efficient, high-quality clinical research services to public and private partners. 

Established under the EU-funded COMBACTE and PREPARE projects, CLIN-Net spans over 1,250 clinical sites across 42 European countries. From regular hospital wards to emergency rooms to intensive care units, it offers access to a unique clinical research infrastructure that has enrolled over 52,000 patients in 48 studies. 

LAB-Net counts more than 900 microbiology laboratories in 41 countries coordinated by a central laboratory at the University of Antwerp. Next to fast, efficient, and high-quality matching of studies with the best-fitting laboratories, it can handle all necessary logistics, analyses, and reporting. LAB-Net also offers assistance with diagnostic test development and biobanking, providing access to a repository of more than 141,000 specimens and 11,600 strains.

The coordination of Ecraid's network is supported by the EU-funded project ECRAID-Base.

European UnionThe ECRAID-Base project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 965313.