European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures
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ESFRI Annual Report for 2016 is out!
ESFRI 2106 Annual Report summarises ESFRI activities and results of the year. This report is published for transparent information on the activity of ESFRI to all interested stakeholders and the general public and it is in particular made available to the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. The Report is not a strategy document, but provides an overview of the ESFRI activities and meetings – Plenary Forum, Executive Board and Working Group Chairs Meetings, Working Group Meetings and other events, conferences and workshops – organised during the year.
The year 2016 was characterised by two main achievements for ESFRI: the publication of the Roadmap 2016 in the novel format and the launch of the Roadmap 2018 process. On 10th March 2016, ESFRI officially presented the Roadmap 2016 during a one-day conference organised in Amsterdam by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences – KNAW, in association with the Dutch Presidency and in close cooperation with the European Commission and the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The event, also broadcasted on the web, provided an overview of the Roadmap 2016, whose Part 1 was distributed in hard copies as well as integrally published – Parts 1, 2 and 3 – on the internet. The Roadmap 2016 was presented in a highly renovated format considering the whole lifecycle of Research Infrastructures (RIs). It contains 21 ESFRI Projects whose development is considered of strategic importance for the future competitiveness of the European Research Area. It also includes, for the first time, 29 ESFRI Landmarks representing Research Infrastructures which were listed in the previous editions of the ESFRI Roadmap, but have now completed their implementation or are under construction.
The Roadmap is complemented with a Landscape Analysis (LA), which provides an overview of the European ecosystem by identifying the main RIs operating transnational access in Europe and major new or ongoing projects with an outlook to the global landscape of relevance. The Permanent Working Groups, the Strategy Working Groups in five domains (SWGs) and the Implementation mentation Group (IG), performed the evaluation of the new proposals, the assessment of the ESFRI Projects and carried out the Landscape Analysis to keep the Forum informed of new trends and news at European and global level in their domains, as well as to respond to the invitation by the Competitiveness Council to broaden the view of ESFRI beyond the list of projects, gaining a comprehensive overview of the investments in RIs and of their impacts.
Following the publication of the ESFRI Roadmap 2016, the Forum further refined its roadmap update process and methodology for the evaluation of New Proposals, the Monitoring of Projects and the Periodic Review of Landmarks, reinforcing the lifecycle approach and in order to address the progress towards implementation and the performance during operation and long-term strategy respectively.
On 4th October 2016, ESFRI officially launched the process that will lead to the Roadmap 2018, with a presentation event during the International Conference on Research Infrastructures – ICRI 2016 in Cape Town. In January 2017, an Info Day was dedicated to the submission and selection of new proposals and an Exchange of Experience Workshop explaining the Monitoring initiative of the ESFRI Projects and the Pilot Periodic Review of the ESFRI Landmarks. Both events were organised in Málaga by the Spanish Delegation in close cooperation with the European Commission and the StR-ESFRI Project1.
In addition to these activities, ESFRI established ad hoc Working Groups in order to respond to mandates of the Competitiveness Council to address specific issues. In March 2016, ESFRI published the final report of the Working Group on Innovation, offering its contribution to the development of a strategy aimed at strengthening and improving the relations between Research Infrastructures and Industry and to promote the potential for innovation of Research Infrastructures in all its aspects.
By the end of 2016, ESFRI prepared a draft conclusion from the Working Group on the investment strategies of the Member States in e-Infrastructures for research and innovation, including high performance and distributed computing, scientific data and networks, and formulated recommendations for how mechanisms for coordinating these strategies could be implemented. Moreover, ESFRI developed its own initiative of study and analysis of the landscape of neutron sources as part of the Landscape Analysis of Analytical Research Infrastructures. To this end, ESFRI established a Neutron Landscape Group (NLG), which resulted in a report which was published as the first volume of the new series called ESFRI Scripta. Finally, following an invitation of the Council to the European Commission to prepare together with ESFRI and relevant stakeholders an action plan on long-term sustainability of Research Infrastructures, ESFRI established a dedicated ad hoc Working Group to prepare an input to the Commission on how to effectively address this challenge.