Plans for new major European research facilities to help push the boundaries of science

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Plans for new major European research facilities to help push the boundaries of science

Amsterdam, 10 March 2016

Large telescopes, particle accelerators and environmental stations are among the topics covered by the eight new research infrastructure projects that are announced today as part of the 2016 Roadmap for the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). Its launch is hosted by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) at its headquarters in Amsterdam.

Robert-Jan Smits, the European Commission's Director-General for Research and Innovation, said: "To remain at the forefront of scientific discovery, Europe needs to ensure that its scientists and innovators have access to the very best Research Infrastructures. This requires a strategy and funding. The 21 projects identified by ESFRI are a major contribution in this context."

ESFRI identifies research facilities of pan-European importance that are necessary to strengthen scientific excellence and competitiveness in the EU. The updated Roadmap now consists of 21 'ESFRI Projects', which are research infrastructures in development phase. The Roadmap comprises the 29 'ESFRI Landmarks', denoting projects that are being implemented or have been completed.

The projects comprising the Roadmap are all of such magnitude that they cannot be realised at national level. The eight new facilities will help push the boundaries of science in important areas:

  • Environment
    • ACTRIS: Ground-based stations to understand past, current and predict future evolution of the atmosphere (coordinated by Finland)
    • DANUBIUS-RI: An interdisciplinary research and innovation infrastructure for river-sea systems (coordinated by Romania)
  • Health and Food
    • EMPHASIS: An integrated infrastructure for multi-scale phenotyping addressing food security in different agro-climatic Scenarios (coordinated by Germany)
  • Physical sciences
    • EST: An advanced telescope for observing the sun and its magnetic activity (coordinated by Spain)
    • KM3Net 2.0: a re-oriented neutrino telescope for astroparticle and oscillations research (coordinated by The Netherlands)
    • HL-LHC: an upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN - the highest-energy particle collider in the world for exploring new physics
    • ESRF Upgrades: Phase I and Phase II of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility upgrade programme
  • Social and cultural innovation
    • E-RIHS: An infrastructure for heritage interpretation, preservation, documentation and Management (coordinated by Italy)

About ESFRI Roadmaps

The ESFRI Roadmaps reflect the long-term needs of the European research community. The EU strives for high-quality research facilities that are accessible to all top researchers to enable the scientific world to realise its full potential.

The 2016 Roadmap highlights the strong socio-economic impact of research infrastructures as well as their potential to generate innovation through collaboration with industrial partners.

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