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ESFRI Roadmap

The ESFRI Roadmap 2016

The ESFRI Roadmap 2016 identifies the new Research Infrastructures (RI) of pan-European interest corresponding to the long term needs of the European research communities, covering all scientific areas, regardless of possible location.

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The 2016 Roadmap consists of 21 ESFRI Projects with a high degree of maturity - including 6 new Projects - and 29 ESFRI Landmarks - RIs that reached the implementation phase by the end of 2015.

Roadmap 2016:
Adopted Document  PDF icon 5.7 MB
Full Document  PDF icon 15.8 MB

The ESFRI Roadmap 2016 was launched on 10 March 2016, in Amsterdam. The event was organized under the Dutch Presidency by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in close cooperation with ESFRI, the European Commission and the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Discussions focussed on strategic roadmapping, long-term sustainability and the socio-economic impact of research infrastructures.

See Event Agenda and Live Stream

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What is the ESFRI roadmap?

The ESFRI Roadmap identifies new Research Infrastructures (RI) of pan-European interest corresponding to the long term needs of the European research communities, covering all scientific areas, regardless of possible location.

Potential new RI (or major upgrade) identified may have different degrees of maturity but it should be noted that they are supported by a relevant European partnership or intergovernmental research organisation. A growing number of countries have prepared national roadmaps that establish the prioritisation of national and pan-European RIs, using the ESFRI Roadmap as a reference. This helps to define national budgets, facilitates political support and allows long-term financial commitment.

Project descriptions highlight the manner in which they would impact on science and technology development at international level, how they would support new ways of doing science in Europe, and how they would contribute to the enhancement of the European Research Area.

The ESFRI roadmap is an ongoing process. First published in 2006, with 35 projects, it was updated in 2008 bringing the number of RIs of pan-European relevance to 44. The latest update focusing on projects dealing with energy, food and biology was published in December 2010. Having identified 48 projects of new research infrastructures (or major upgrade on existing ones) so far, ESFRI more focused on their implementation.


The Roadmap 2016 update process

The Roadmap 2016 update process was launched in September 2014 in Trieste. In the framework of this update, ESFRI is expecting proposals for new (or major upgrades of) research infrastructures of pan-European interest corresponding to the long term needs of the European research communities, covering all scientific areas.

Projects identified in the Roadmap will be expected to move to implementation in less than 10 years from their first inclusion on the Roadmap. This will mean a smaller but more “mature” number of new projects will enter the updated Roadmap. ESFRI will assess candidate projects on scientific excellence, pan-European relevance, socio-economic impact, e-needs and maturity level.

In parallel, ESFRI will carry out an in-depth analysis of the research infrastructure landscape in all scientific fields in Europe. The landscape analysis will provide a comprehensive picture of the existing research infrastructures of pan-European scope, including the national/regional research infrastructures that operate international open access.

The update process

The description of the update process, assessment criteria, and identification process is outlined in the Guidelines for applicants  PDF icon 190 KB .

The Terms of Reference of the Strategic Working Groups ( EN  PDF icon ) and of the Working Group on Implementation ( EN  PDF icon ) define the role of these bodies in the 2016 ESFRI Roadmap update process and the evaluation of submitted proposals.

How to submit a proposal

Proposals can only be submitted through ESFRI Delegations and/or by a Council of an EIROforum (see list of contact points in ESFRI delegations  PDF icon 106 KB )

Proposals must be submitted using the online form. (Link, ID and password will be provided to the ESFRI Delegations and to the Members of the EIROforum).

The form consists of three parts:

  • PART A:Project Summary, used for the eligibility check
  • PART B:Scientific impact, Pan European relevance, Socio-economic impact & e-Needs, used to evaluate the scientific excellence of the proposal
  • PART C:Implementation, used to assess the maturity of the proposal

Applicants can prepare their proposal for submission using the PDF or Word version of the submission form.

Online submission form-FAQs  PDF icon 468 KB

Deadline for proposal submission: 31st March 2015 17.00 CET.

How to get more information

Contact your ESFRI delegate: ESFRI membership list
Contact the ESFRI secretariat


Roadmap for Research Infrastructures (previous versions)


Implementation of the Roadmap

Council Conclusions on the implementation of the ESFRI roadmap

In its conclusions of 26th May 2014, the Council acknowledges the work done by ESFRI to identify priority projects which are mature enough to be under implementation in 2015-2016 and whose timely implementation is considered essential to extend the frontiers of knowledge in the fields concerned.

The Council also confirms the Member States’ commitment to focus their available national resources on the respective prioritised projects they are financially participating in and invites the Commission, under Horizon 2020, to complement the Member States’ own financial commitments through a one-time financial contribution for the priority projects, and to financially support the other projects (preparation and implementation) identified by ESFRI and listed in the Annex.

The Council also welcomes the plans of ESFRI to update its roadmap in 2015/2016.


In its Strategy Report and Roadmap Update 2010, ESFRI highlighted once again the importance of scientific and technological innovation as basis for the success of the European economy. Europe must fully exploit its talent and resources. The implementation of the projects on the ESFRI Roadmap will significantly advance Europe’s capacity to generate new ideas, increase innovation and help to create jobs. Research Infrastructures are large undertakings, whether in size, or by nature of their organisational complexity. Notwithstanding the current economic climate and pressure on resources, they require a considerable level of investment to build and need a long-term operation strategy.

Ten of the 48 infrastructures on the Roadmap were already under construction or operation by end 2010 and fourteen made sufficient progress to be considered as under the implementation phase by the end of 2012. All the ESFRI projects are funded by various groups of EU Member States and Associated Countries. The European Commission provides funding for the preparatory phase of the projects as well as for the implementation of common objectives within clusters of related projects.

Financial support from the European regional structural funds will also be instrumental for the construction phase of large facilities. ESFRI has promoted increased regional cooperation to facilitate a more equal spread of the Research Infrastructures between the Member States. ESFRI delegates play a crucial role in working with governments and the European Commission to assisting on the possibilities to use structural funds.

ELI - Extreme Light Infrastructure - was the first ESFRI project funded by regional structural funds. ELI has been granted €416 million for the construction of two facilities to be built in the Czech Republic and Romania. A third ELI facility is to be located in Hungary, which will also benefit from structural funds.


More information
Europe map

An on-line map to locate the ESFRI infrastructures and their partner facilities
About 400 facilities are part of these distributed pan-European RIs set up with the support of the European Commission
Go to the map

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