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International Cooperation

Strong investment in research and innovation is needed to address pressing societal challenges such as climate change, health, an ageing population, or the move towards a resource efficient society.

Research Infrastructures play a vital role in addressing these challenges. However, it is essential to optimise the use of resources for increasingly expensive facilities, to overcome the fragmented infrastructure spending not only across Europe but at a more global scale, and to join forces to address these challenges.

Some research facilities, particularly in physics or astronomy, are so large, complex or expensive that they require international cooperation for their construction and operation. Others are naturally global in scope as they respond to global challenges and/or require the combined skills, data and efforts of the world's best scientists. Some examples from the European Roadmap are ICOS: Integrated Carbon Observation System; LIFEWATCH: protection, management and sustainable use of biodiversity; SKA: Square Kilometre Array, the next generation radio telescope.

Developing global research infrastructures and reinforcing cooperation of EU research infrastructures at international level are parts of the key commitments of the Innovation Union.



ICRI 2014 - 2nd International Conference on Research Infrastructures

2-4 April 2014, Athens

Conference logoICRI 2014 offers a high level international forum where key stakeholders can meet, discuss and contribute to bringing forward global issues related to Research Infrastructures. Co-organised by the European Commission and the Greek EU Presidency of the European Union, it will take forward the recommendations of ICRI 2012, which took place in Denmark and the 3rd EU-Australia Research Infrastructure workshop that took place in Canberra in November 2013.

The conference is expected to attract 600 international participants during three days and will include an exhibition of demonstrations and videos of international research infrastructure projects.


The Carnegie group of G8+05 Science Advisers

At their meeting in London, G8 science ministers approved a statement which proposes to the G8 for consideration international issues that need global cooperation: global challenges, global research infrastructure, open scientific research data, and increasing access to the results of scientific research.

» G8 science ministers statement: London UK, 12 June 2013 ( 58 KB)

Several discussions already took place on the efficient planning, design, construction and operation of global infrastructures.  It is clear that this requires not only a sharing of costs, but also the sharing of knowledge.

The Carnegie Group of G8 + 05 Science Advisers recognised the potential for cooperation on issues related to global research infrastructures. They established a Group of Senior Officials (GSO) on Global Research Infrastructures to reach a common understanding on matters such as governance, funding and management of large-scale research infrastructures.

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ICRI 2012 - Global research infrastructures and the Grand Challenges

Copenhagen, 21-23 March 2012


The International Conference on Research Infrastructures, ICRI 2012, took place under the auspices of the Danish Presidency of the European Union, in cooperation with the European Commission. This was the Seventh Conference on Research Infrastructures.

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  • ERA-Can II Rome Symposium on Arctic and Marine Research Infrastructure Symposium
    Rome, 19-20 September 2013

    This symposium was the closing event of the ERA-Can II Project. Funded by the European Commission and the Government of Canada, and coordinated by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the core objective of the ERA-Can II project was to facilitate the sharing of information, and foster interaction between the European and Canadian research communities.

    During the event, participants discussed and identified opportunities for collaboration in the development, management and use of Arctic and marine research infrastructure. The purpose was to find ways to maximize the impact of significant investments in research infrastructure by fostering collaboration, avoiding unnecessary duplication, and ensure that the best researchers have access to the tools, equipment and facilities necessary for world-class research.
    Agenda (PDF icon 219 KB) Report on Symposium (PDF icon 1.7 MB)

  • Arctic and Marine Research Infrastructures Workshop
    Rome, 17-18 September 2013

    The objectives of this event was to discuss European research infrastructures (RIs) strategies, in particular in the context of ESFRI, and synergies between key European initiatives and infrastructures projects; and to identify areas and ways of cooperation with third countries, in particular US and Canada.
    Agenda  PDF icon 147 KB

    Show Presentations

  • European - Australian collaboration
    Collaboration between Europe and Australia in research infrastructure, including infrastructure to support the exploitation of large and complex research datasets, was advanced at two events hosted by the Australian Government Department of Education in Canberra and Melbourne. See the joint Communiqué following the Visit by a European Union Delegation on Research Infrastructure to Australia on 4-8 November 2013.
    Communiqué (PDF icon 221 KB)

    From left to right: Robert Griew, Associate Secretary, Australian Department of Education;
    Patricia Kelly, Deputy Secretary, Department of Industry; Octavi Quintana Trias, Director,
    DG Research and Innovation, European Commission
  • Third European Union-Australia workshop on Research Infrastructures
    5-6 November 2013, Shine Dome, Canberra.
    See program and speakers in the Workshop booklet (689 KB)

  • Australia-EU Research Infrastructure Second Workshop
    Brussels, 26-27 June 2012
    Agenda (PDF icon 157 KB) Participants CVs (PDF icon 832 KB) Data Infrastructure Collaboration (PDF icon 153 KB) Energy (PDF icon 846 KB) Environment (PDF icon 201 KB) Health (PDF icon 152 KB) Workshop Report (PDF icon 659 KB)
  • EU-New Zealand data and e-research infrastructure workshop
    Brussels, 7 June 2012
  • EU-US workshop on Environment
    Brussels, 13-14 September 2011
  • Australia-EU Research Infrastructure First Workshop
    Brussels, 4-5 April 2011
    Short report
  • AAAS Annual Meeting 2011
    Washington, 21 February 2011
  • BILAT-US - Symposium on Transatlantic EU-U.S. cooperation in the field of large scale Research Infrastructures
    Rome, October 1, 2010