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European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures

The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) was set-up in 2002. The ESFRI's delegates are nominated by research ministers of the EU Member and Associated Countries and include a Commission representative. The ESFRI has a key role in policy-making on research infrastructures in Europe. In particular the ESFRI contributes to the development of a strategic roadmap that identifies vital new European RIs for the next 10-20 years.

The ESFRI's mandate is:

  • to support a coherent and strategy-led approach to policy making on research infrastructures in Europe
  • to facilitate multilateral initiatives leading to a better use and development of research infrastructures
  • to establish a European Roadmap for research infrastructures (new and major upgrades, pan-European interest) for the next 10-20 years, stimulate the implementation of these facilities, and update the roadmap as needed
  • to follow-up on implementation of ongoing ESFRI projects after a comprehensive assessment, as well as the prioritisation of infrastructure projects listed in the ESFRI Roadmap

The 2016 roadmap contains details of 21 ESFRI Projects — including six new projects, and 29 ESFRI landmarks. These landmarks are RIs that reached the implementation phase before the end of 2015.


How the ESFRI works

The ESFRI is a self-regulated body, which operates openly and on a consensus basis. The forum typically meets four times a year.

The ESFRI adheres to a set of procedural guidelines, reviewed every two years. The forum may set up ad hoc working groups to analyse and report on topical issues.

The ESFRI 2016 Roadmap includes a list of the involved working groups and their membership.


ESFRI Members

ESFRI Delegates are senior science-policy officials or equivalents, who represent ministers responsible for research in their country. A senior science-policy official represents the European Commission.

The ESFRI Chair is appointed from among the ESFRI delegates, for a two-year non-renewable term.

The ESFRI Executive Board assists the chair in planning ESFRI activities. This board is composed of the ESFRI Chair, the EC representative and of ESFRI Delegates selected by consensus.


ESFRI Executive Secretariat

The ESFRI Secretariat is provided by the European Commission. The secretariat's role is to assist the forum's operation. In particular, the secretariat assists the chair and executive board to prepare and circulate draft agendas, meeting summaries and related documents.


In addition to ESFRI, several European fora contribute to the discussion on RIs, such as the e-Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG), EIROforum — the Association of European-Level Research Infrastructure Facilities (ERF). At international level there is the Group of Senior Officials on Global Research Infrastructures (GSO) and the Global Science Forum (GSF).