European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures

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ESFRI participated in the 'Research Infrastructures beyond 2020 – sustainable and effective ecosystem for science and society' Conference

The Bulgarian Presidency Flagship Conference on Research Infrastructures took place on 22-23 March at the Sofia Tech Park and attracted the world of Research Infrastructures -policymakers, research managers and industry stakeholders- in a high-level event with international impact. ESFRI Delegates, officials and representatives participated in the Conference as speakers, panellists, attendees and exhibitors.

With a focus on exploring the challenges posed to the sustainability of European research infrastructures, Giorgio Rossi, ESFRI Chair, and Anna Proykova, Chair of the Strategy Working Group on Data, Computing and Digital Research Infrastructures, contributed to the discussion on the future of RIs in Europe and explained how ESFRI is addressing the long-term sustainability of Research Infrastructures by developing policy tools and promoting efficient scientific data management.

In his speech, ESFRI vice-chair Jan Hrusak discussed a concrete set of actions to foster sustainability and impact of European research infrastructures on industry, policy and society and presented the ‘European Call for Action on LTS of the RIs’.  Among invited speakers, Beatrix Vierkorn-Rudolph, German ESFRI Delegate, moderated a session on ‘European Synchronisation of RI policies’ and reflected on synergies and opportunities for collaboration of RIs.

During the two-day conference, ESFRI also maintained an exhibition booth which hosted special events, all promoting ESFRI initiatives. More than 80 visitors had the opportunity to get to know more about ESFRI activities, receive relevant informational material, watch videos and presentations. In particular, two core ESFRI activities were presented for the first time in public and managed to attract the visitors’ attention. During the opening ceremony, Giorgio Rossi, ESFRI chair, presented the ESFRI Scripta Series in the presence of governmental officials. Also, at specified dates, members of the StR-ESFRI project team presented the ESFRI Monitoring System, the central online platform for information on the ESFRI projects and Landmarks. The upcoming Roadmap 2018 and its content remained in the centre of attention as visitors were mainly interested in the status of the projects applied to be included.

The outcome of this high-level event was a European Call for Action on Long-term Sustainability of Research Infrastructures to provide the impetus for full realisation of the potential of the European Research Area in order to further boost broad-based research and innovation. The Call for Action will therefore foster long-term competitiveness and excellence of the RIs in Europe and world-wide.

The event was web-streamed live at http://risofia2018.eu/. A rich archive of the ESFRI’s participation in the event -photos and videos- can be found here. Also, visitors may download the informational material disseminated in the conference from here.