European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures

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ESFRI Roadmap 2018 Update approved – Shaping a new RI landscape

In the setting of the Old Fortress of Corfu, Greece, during the 65th Plenary Forum Meeting, ESFRI concluded a year-long process of updating its Roadmap by adopting all its parts, crucially featuring the list of Projects and Landmarks that will form the ESFRI ecosystem for the years to come. 

The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures – ESFRI – periodically updates its Roadmap as mandated by the Competitiveness Council of the European Union to provide a coherent and strategic vision ensuring that Europe has excellent world-class Research Infrastructures in all fields of science and innovation.

Giorgio Rossi, Chair of ESFRI, was thrilled about the result: “We have shown that Europe can really work! We now have 37 Landmarks – 8 of them moving into this Portfolio from the previous Project list of Roadmap 2016 - and 18 Projects, 6 of them new ones, showcasing the high potential of Research Infrastructures to increase the European research competitiveness in all domains, and the ability of the ESFRI community to cooperate in an efficient way and achieve wide recognition”

Two High Strategic Potential Areas have also been identified in the Landscape Analysis part of the Roadmap in the field of Social and Cultural Innovation: Religious Studies and transition to Open Science.

ESFRI Roadmap 2018 is an update of the ESFRI Roadmap 2016 incorporating the results of the progress assessment of those ESFRI Projects that entered in 2008, the outcomes of the evaluation of new proposals, a comprehensive analysis of the landscape of pan-European RIs and a vision on the future evolution of the ESFRI activities and methods.

It illustrates the reinforced strategic role of the Landmarks as reference Research Infrastructures operating in all domains of research, open to European scientists and technology developers.

At the same time, new entries in the list of the ESFRI Projects were selected for the excellence of their scientific case and their maturity for implementation, with the aim to reinforce critical areas of competitiveness for European research.

The discussion leading to Roadmap 2018 also included detailed considerations on issues of long-term sustainability, contributions to innovation, the challenges at the interface between RIs and e-Infrastructure and FAIR Data, education and training, socio-economic impact and the global significance of ESFRI.

Jean-David Malo, Director for Open Science and Open Innovation at the European Commission, congratulated ESFRI on this achievement: “Adoption of this Roadmap is an important milestone towards the consolidation of the European Research Infrastructure landscape and further prioritization of investments. With a comprehensive analysis of the Research Infrastructure ecosystem, it identifies the ways to achieve greater impact and societal relevance of these investments, fostering their long-term sustainability and facilitating the transition towards open science and open innovation in Europe. At the European Commission we are looking forward to cooperate with ESFRI on the implementation of this Roadmap, further strengthening the capacities and excellence of the European Research Area.

ESFRI will continue adapting its vision and methodology towards better serving the Research Infrastructures in Europe and integrating new mandates by the EU Council related to long-term sustainability of RIs, supporting an enhanced service-driven approach, exchanging experience about national roadmap procedures and budgetary practices, as well as developing a common approach to monitoring that would make use of straightforward indicators and advanced cost-analysis tools.

The ESFRI Roadmap 2018 will be officially presented to the public in a dedicated event, under the Austrian Presidency, on the 11th of September 2018 at Aula der Wissenschaften in Vienna.