The mission of ECCSEL ERIC is to establish a world class, distributed, pan-European CCS Research Laboratory Infrastructure to enable the removal of research barriers and facilitate wide scale deployment of CO2 capture, transport and geological storage in Europe. We present the rationale and development of ECCSEL ERIC, and consider ECCSEL in three phases: its current status, its medium term plans, and its longer term ambitions. ECCSEL will deliver its mission by a programme of integration (Phase 1), upgrade (Phase 2) and construction (Phase 3) of CCS research facilities. The first two phases are ongoing. ECCSEL already provides access to a high quality CO2 capture, transport and storage (CCS) research infrastructure. ECCSEL has also drafted its initial research strategy, which will underpin Phase 3. © 2018 European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, EAGE. All rights reserved.