Scientists need a range of instruments, installations, facilities and resources to conduct successful research in their respective fields.
EU funding in 2009
Such research infrastructures include collections, special habitats, libraries, databases, biological archives, clean rooms, high-capacity/high- speed communication networks, data infrastructures, research vessels, satellite and aircraft observation facilities, coastal observatories, telescopes, and networks of computing facilities. Research infrastructures play a key role and are very expensive to operate.
Top-class scientific and technological development would not be possible without major research infrastructures. They are essential both for top-class activities in basic and applied research, and for attracting young people to science. The existence of recognised world-level infrastructures allows Europe to maintain a strong presence on the international research market. The ‘Research infrastructures’ activity in FP7 provides support for the development of a European approach and for the operation and enhancement of existing infrastructures, which have to keep up with the latest technological advances.