The European approach to research infrastructures has made remarkable progress in recent years with the implementation of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) roadmap, integrating and opening national research facilities and developing e-infrastructures underpinning a digital European Research Area. The networks of research infrastructures across Europe strengthen its human capital base by providing world-class training for a new generation of researchers and engineers and promoting interdisciplinary collaboration.
Further development and wider use of research infrastructures at Union level will make a significant contribution to development of the European Research Area. While the role of Member States remains central in developing and financing research infrastructures, the Union plays an important part in supporting infrastructure, fostering the emergence of new facilities, opening up broad access to national and European infrastructures, and making sure that regional, national, European and international policies are consistent and effective. It is not only necessary to avoid duplication of efforts and to coordinate and rationalise the use of the facilities, but also to pool resources so that the Union can also acquire and operate research infrastructures at world level.
The efficiencies of scale and scope achieved by a European approach to construction, use and management of research infrastructures, including e-infrastructures, will make a significant contribution to boosting Europe’s research and innovation potential.
Activities aim at developing the European research infrastructures for 2020 and beyond, fostering their innovation potential and human capital and reinforcing European research infrastructure policy.
Developing the European research infrastructures for 2020 and beyond
The objective is to ensure the implementation and operation of the ESFRI and other worldclass research infrastructures, including the development of regional partner facilities; integration of and access to national research infrastructures; and the development, deployment and operation of e-infrastructures.
Fostering the innovation potential of research infrastructures and their human capital
The goal is to encourage research infrastructures to act as early adopters of technology, to promote R&D partnerships with industry, to facilitate industrial use of research infrastructures and to stimulate the creation of innovation clusters. This activity will also support training and/or exchanges of staff managing and operating research infrastructures.
Reinforcing European research infrastructure policy and international cooperation
The aim will be to support partnerships between relevant policymakers and funding bodies, mapping and monitoring tools for decision-making and also international cooperation activities.
State-of-the-art research infrastructures becomes increasingly complex and costly, often requiring integration of different equipment, services and data sources, as well as extensive transnational collaboration.