There are many laboratories specifically researching into the question of the origin of life on Earth: equally there is an extensive amount of research, not necessarily directly involved in answering the posed question, which may well be able to contribute something to the sum of our knowledge. It is from this position that NoRCEL has been established, with the aim of kick-starting a debate amongst those practitioners who are directly involved in the theoretical aspects and experimental studies pertaining to the origin of life and those scientists who traditionally work in other fields (eg medical virology, phylogenetics, cancer research etc). This pooling of a wide array of knowledge may thus contribute to, and accelerate the understanding of, the origin of life on Earth. Therefore, we encourage an eclectic range of practitioners to join the network and come together at our meetings in order to air, share and debate their ideas under one roof. It is our fervent desire that our regular conferences, reports and published papers will assist in expediting a better understanding of the origin of life on the Earth.