On 11 September, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) presented its Strategy Report and Roadmap 2018 on strategic large-scale research infrastructures, at an event hosted by the Austrian EU Presidency in Vienna.

The roadmap is updated periodically (starting in 2006) and identifies research infrastructures of pan-European interest, that require the pooling of resources from several countries to be built. These research infrastructures would ensure that scientists in Europe have access to world-class facilities enabling them to do cutting-edge research, and strengthen the competitiveness in the European Research Area (ERA).

The latest version of the roadmap includes 18 “ESFRI Projects” and 37 so-called “ESFRI Landmarks”. Projects are research infrastructures currently in a preparation phase, expected to reach full implementation within ten years. Funding to support the completion of the preparatory phase could for example come from Horizon 2020. Landmarks represent key research infrastructures in a state of implementation, or already completed and delivering science services and granting user access. Landmarks are considered major elements of competitiveness of the ERA.

Facilities dedicated to research on material testing for fusion reactors, industrial biotechnology, and food quality and safety are among the new additions to the current roadmap. Other points also highlighted in the roadmap include the increasing role of research infrastructures in the rapid development of data-driven research, the growing focus on enabling innovation, and the challenges of Open Science.

European Commission news item: https://ec.europa.eu/info/news/european-list-strategic-research-infrastructures-expands-new-areas-2018-sep-11_en

Full version of the ESFRI Roadmap: http://www.roadmap2018.esfri.eu/

Video from the launch event in Vienna: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGyM5vVpaq9G8DPvPLa4Cvw

More information about the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI): http://www.esfri.eu/forum

Image credit: Photo by Lukas from Pexels