The Preparatory Phase of EMPHASIS is a H2020 supported project EMPHASIS-PREP (Grant Agreement number 739514). The project started in 2017 to bring EMPHASIS to the level of legal, financial, and technical maturity required for implementation. EMPHASIS-PREP provides the basis for the establishment of the legal framework, the business plan and the preparation of an information system for a sustainable and innovative pan-European infrastructure for plant phenotyping. Actually, political support and commitment to EMPHASIS has been expressed by nine European countries in the form of previous investments and an additional investment from Germany. EMPHASIS has already committed 49 M€ (67%) of the total cost until full establishment in the next five years. EMPHASIS is already placing Europe in a leading position via the International Plant Phenotyping Network, and has already engaged further Member States in their current plans. It is timely that this is secured in a long-term, sustainable pan-European Research Infrastructure filling an important gap in the Health & Food landscape.