Affiliated partnership is a European Commission-led initiative developed to address concerns regarding the geographic coverage of the ERNs. In 2019 a call was open for healthcare providers to apply to become 'affiliated partners' of an ERN. Applicants had to be designated on a national level but were not required to meet the same criteria as ERN members. Affiliated partner designations could not be made by member states with a member hospital already involved in ERNICA.
There are two types of affiliated partner - Associated National Centre and National Coordination Hubs.
ERNICA affiliated partnerships have been formalised for the following healthcare providers:
University Hospital Graz (Austria) - Associated National Centre
Kepler University Hospital Linz (Austria) - Associated National Centre
General Hospital of Vienna (Austria) - Associated National Centre
Sozial Medical Center East, Wien (Austria) - Associated National Centre
Children's Clinical University Hospital, Riga (Latvia) - Associated National Centre
Vilnius University Santaros Clinics (Lithuania) - Associated National Centre
Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Kauno Klinikos (Lithuania) - Associated National Centre
University Hospital Centre Zagreb (Croatia) - Associated National Centre
Tartu University Hospital (Estonia) - Associated National Centre
Mater Dei Hospital (Malta) - National Coordination Hub
Semmelweis University, Institute of Genomic Medicine and Rare Disorders (Hungary) - National Coordination Hub
Clinical institute for medical genetics, University medical centre, Ljubijana (Slovenia) - National Coordination Hub
Centre hospitalier de Luxembourg (Luxembourg) - National Coordination Hub
The involvement of affiliated partners in ERNICA activities depends on the capacity of the healthcare provider and their level of expertise.