The partners involved in ESTEEM2 are determined to take their distributed research infrastructure to new heights as Europe’sprimary resource for access to advanced transmission electronmicroscopy (TEM) equipment, tools and methodologicalsupport. They are making outstanding instrumentationavailable to visiting researchers, disseminating knowledge,conducting ambitious research to advance the state of theart and thereby further boosting the potential of TEM as anenabling technology for European research in the physicalsciences. Their work builds on the outcomes of the precursorproject ESTEEM (‘Distributed European infrastructure ofadvanced electron microscopy for nanoscience’), which endedin June 2011.The current project’s networking activities support cooperation inthe field as a means of sharing and refining TEM expertise andpromoting closer integration. They are designed to intensifythe interaction with the various stakeholders, but also tofurther enhance the services jointly provided by the projectpartners. As part of this strand of activity, the partners will,for example, organise training programmes and workshops,optimise sample preparation techniques and developtheoretical models and computational tools that will supporta number of their activities. They also intend to maintainclose ties with related initiatives, notably in Australia, Japanand the United States.The project’s transnational access programme is one of thepartner’s key priorities. It involves 13 TEM facilities in 9 countriesand provides opportunities to use cutting-edge equipmentthat is rare or even unequalled throughout Europe. Anindependent selection panel evaluates the project proposalssubmitted by prospective users and directs successfulapplicants to the centre that offers the best fit for their needs.In total, some 3 300 days of access are to be provided free ofcharge to approximately 2 300 researchers throughout thefour-year duration of the project.