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Materials science facilities of Central Europe join resources to offer an integrated service to researchers

24 June 2014

Today the European Commission gave green light to the setting up of a unique distributed research infrastructure that will offer researchers an integrated service and access to materials science facilities in Central Europe. CERIC-ERIC, the Central European Research Infrastructure Consortium, will put together national multidisciplinary analytical, synthesis and sample preparation capabilities of six countries, Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.

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The Council acknowledges the prioritisation process for 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 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 Commission is now in capacity to further define how the priority projects (listed below) will be supported in the framework of Horizon 2020 to develop new world-class research infrastructures. The first support action will be implemented under the call INFRADEV-3-2015: Individual implementation and operation of ESFRI projects, see work programme on Research infrastructures, page 9. A total budget of about 90 million € will be allocated to this action.

Prioritisation of Support to ESFRI Projects for Implementation (ANNEX to Council Conclusion of 26 May 2014)

  1. Three Priority Projects for implementation
    • EPOS: European Plate Observing System
    • ELIXIR: The European Life-Science Infrastructure for Biological Information
    • ESS: The European Spallation Source

  2. Implementation Support
    • ECCSEL: European Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage Laboratory Infrastructure
    • EISCAT-3D: The next generation incoherent scatter radar system
    • EMSO: European Multidisciplinary Seafloor & Water column Observatory
    • BBMRI: Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure
    • ELI: Extreme Light Infrastructure
    • CTA: Cherenkov Telescope Array
    • SKA: Square Kilometre Array
    • CLARIN: Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure
    • DARIAH: Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities

  3. Support for Sustainability and European Coverage
    • CESSDA: Council of European Social Science Data Archives
    • SHARE: Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe
    • ESS ERIC: European Social Survey


European research infrastructures for excellent science: open calls of Horizon 2020

The main objective of the action is to endow Europe with world-class research infrastructures which are accessible to all researchers in Europe and beyond and fully exploit their potential for scientific advance and innovation.

Four calls are open with a budget of 277 million € for 2014:

  • Developing new world-class research infrastructures
  • Integrating and opening RIs of European interest
  • Development, deployment and operation of ICT based e-Infrastructures
  • Fostering the innovation potential of RIs and their human resources, support to policy and international cooperation

All information on the action, work programme and how to apply is available on the H2020 website and the Participant Portal

Next call deadline: 2 September 2014 for INFRADEV1-2014; INFRADEV-4-2014/2015; INFRAIA-1-2014/2015; INFRASUPP-1-3-5-6-7-2014



RadioNet3 supported radio astronomers team observed the initial conditions of massive star formation

2 July 2014

Photo of the IRAM Telescope
30-m IRAM telescope (Pico Veleta, Spain)
© Nicolas Billot

Massive stars are responsible not only for some of the most spectacular phenomena in the Universe, but also for the production of heavy elements, key for the origin of life. An international team of astronomers has recently used the transnational access to the 30m telescope of the Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM) in Spain to observe one of the darkest, densest and most quiescent molecular cloud in our Galaxy, where massive stars are in the making.

The cloud is cold, massive, and shows a complex structure with several filaments. The detailed analysis suggests that the filaments’ kinematics are governed by the global collapse of the cloud.

The team has proposed that the filaments likely formed at the initial stages of the cloud’s collapse and, as the collapse proceeds, the filaments converge and collide one onto another. As a result of the collision, the most massive condensations in the cloud were formed exactly at the locations where the filaments intersect. These condensations, or ‘cores’, are 100 times more massive than the Sun, and represent the progenitors of massive stars.