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 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 description of the update process, assessment criteria, and identification process is outlined in the Guidelines for applicants 190 KB .
The Terms of Reference of the Strategic Working Groups ( EN ) and of the Working Group on Implementation ( EN ) define the role of these bodies in the 2016 ESFRI Roadmap update process and the evaluation of submitted proposals.
Proposals can only be submitted through ESFRI Delegations and/or by a Council of an EIROforum (see list of contact points in ESFRI delegations 102 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:
Applicants can prepare their proposal for submission using the PDF or Word version of the submission form.
Deadline for proposal submission: 31rst March 2015 17.00 CET.
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.