InSPIREurope begins from the view that excellence in research depends upon open scientific debate, and is driven by a multiplicity of ideas, people and perspectives. When researchers are at risk, and excluded from participating in the global research circuit, whether due to discrimination, persecution, suffering or violence, not only are individual lives and careers at risk – the quality, the very future of research are also at stake. With record numbers of researchers at risk reaching out to Europe, there is no one country, government, NGO, or enterprise that can meet the scope of the challenge alone; an ambitious and concerted approach is required. The skills and attributes of researchers at risk represent significant economic and human capital potential for the receiving countries in Europe. However, for such potential to be fully realized on a Europe-wide scale, well-coordinated efforts by a diverse set of experienced actors is required. Toward this goal, and in recognition of a shared commitment to excellence in research and to the principles of freedom of inquiry and academic freedom that are essential preconditions for world-class research, the InSPIREurope project facilitates trans-national cooperation between European and national initiatives and programmes in support of researchers at risk.