05.12.2022

On December 2nd, the Competitiveness Council adopted conclusions on Research Infrastructures (RIs), recognising their crucial role in addressing societal challenges and facilitating EU’s green and digital transitions, while acknowledging the challenges that lie ahead. 

The network of pan-European RIs, developed through the ESFRI over the past 20 years, is one of the success stories of the development of the European Research Area (ERA): Europe has one of the most advanced and integrated RI systems in the world. RIs are top-class facilities that provide resources and services for research communities to conduct research and foster innovation.

The Council conclusions recognise the need to further strengthen RIs and facilitate broader access to them, since they can greatly contribute to the competitiveness of the European economy.

Research infrastructures:

  • enable cutting-edge research and facilitate discoveries and breakthrough science-based innovations
  • help to strengthen the EU‘s preparedness and the resilience of European society to socioeconomic crises
  • boost regional development, including investments and highly skilled jobs
  • contribute to science diplomacy and international cooperation based on a problem-solving approach and provide the basis for collaborative research
  • promote the implementation of open science policies and the freedom of scientific knowledge

In its Conclusions, the Council underlines the role of ESFRI in triggering and structuring coordinated approaches at both - European and national levels to the RI policy-making, resulting in, among others, roadmapping, landscaping and monitoring processes. It invites Member States to reinforce their efforts directed at the RI roadmapping, landscaping, and monitoring while considering guidelines, recommendations and good practices developed through ESFRI, and while respecting national diversity. It asks ESFRI to proceed swiftly with the implementation of the ESFRI’s work plan 2022–2023, with specific indications relating to topics such as impact assessment, financing of RIs, energy crisis, landscape analysis, roadmapping, monitoring, and an elaborated global action.

ESFRI Chair Jana Kolar welcomed the Conclusions, stating "Competitiveness Council’s Conclusions stressed the role of a fully functional and operational European RI ecosystem and set an ambitious and elaborated vision for the future development of RIs. The breadth of tasks put before ESFRI demonstrates the Council’s trust in its processes and efficiency. It is ERA at its best."

Read the full press release on the CC Conclusions here.

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