Research Infrastructures

Research infrastructures (RIs) are those facilities, resources and related services that the scientific community use to conduct high-level research.  They cover a range of research fields from engineering and social sciences to genomics and astronomy and can be single-sited (a single resource at a single location), distributed (a network of distributed resources) or virtual (the service is provided electronically). Research infrastructures can be also used beyond research e.g. for education or public services and are nowadays crucial for fostering innovation.

The importance of RIs are undisputable as they play a vital strategic role in the advancement and exploitation of knowledge and technology. Not only are they necessary to the structuring of the scientific community – offering high quality research services, networking facilities, attracting young people to science – they also aid in the construction of an efficient research and innovation environment. As Carlos Moedas, former Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation said:

 “Europe needs top-class research infrastructures to generate new knowledge that helps tackle the environmental and social challenges our societies are facing.”

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 (ERA).

ESFRI started a comprehensive reflection process on the role of research infrastructures in the evolving ERA. Within the H2020 programme the objective is to develop the European RIs so as they become a new world-class RIs by integrating and opening national RIs of pan-European interest, development, and through deployment and operation of ICT based e-Infrastructures. This to foster the innovation potential of RIs and their human capital while also reinforcing European RI policy and international cooperation.

In future it is expected that Research Infrastuctures will remain at the core of the ERA and Horizon Europe will further aim at integrated and inter-connected world-class research infrastructures through:

  • Consolidation of the landscape of European Research Infrastructures (meaning a) higher R&I sustainability through the development, operation and sustainability of ESFRI that is essential to the creation and use of new knowledge and the competitiveness of industries and b) making the EOSC (European Open Science Cloud) an effective and comprehensive delivery channel for R&I services;
  • Opening, integrating and interconnecting Research Infrastructures ( this to enhance the research landscape by ensuring openness to key international, national and regional R&I and integrating their services);
  • Reinforcing  the European Research Infrastructure policy and International Cooperation (the goal is a stronger cooperation with international counterparts and international participation in European Research infrastructures).

Find below all information we published as far as the research infrastructures are concerned.



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