Research Infrastructures

European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI)

The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) was set-up in 2002. The ESFRI's delegates are nominated by research ministers of the EU Member and Associated Countries and include a Commission representative. The ESFRI has a key role in policy-making on research infrastructures in Europe. In particular the ESFRI contributes to the development of a strategic roadmap that identifies vital new European RIs for the next 10-20 years.


ESFRI 2018 Roadmap Update

ESFRI launched the 2018 Roadmap Update process on 17 January 2017 during a dedicated Info Day in Malaga. New proposals for the ESFRI Roadmap can be submitted by National ESFRI Delegations and EIROforum members until 31st August 2017, 18:00 CET.

The 2018 ESFRI Roadmap Update process is described in detail in the Guide for Applicants (PDF icon 1.9 MB) , which clarifies the ESFRI approach to the roadmap, provides a description of the roadmap procedure and the evaluation methodology, and sets out the ESFRI requirements for research infrastructure proposals.

The questionnaire for application to the Roadmap (PDF icon 299 KB) consists of three parts: PART A - general information used for the eligibility check; PART B – information on scientific case, impact and European added value; and PART C - implementation issues.

Research infrastructures interested in applying to the roadmap are asked to refer to their National ESFRI contact points (PDF icon 241 KB) .


ESFRI's mandate

  • to support a coherent and strategy-led approach to policy making on research infrastructures in Europe
  • to facilitate multilateral initiatives leading to a better use and development of research infrastructures
  • to establish a European Roadmap for research infrastructures (new and major upgrades, pan-European interest) for the next 10-20 years, stimulate the implementation of these facilities, and update the roadmap as needed
  • to follow-up on implementation of ongoing ESFRI projects after a comprehensive assessment, as well as the prioritisation of infrastructure projects listed in the ESFRI Roadmap

The 2016 roadmap contains details of 21 ESFRI Projects — including six new projects, and 29 ESFRI landmarks. These landmarks are RIs that reached the implementation phase before the end of 2015.


How the ESFRI works

The ESFRI is a self-regulated body, which operates openly and on a consensus basis. The forum typically meets four times a year.

The ESFRI adheres to a set of procedural guidelines, reviewed every two years. The forum may set up ad hoc working groups to analyse and report on topical issues.

The ESFRI 2016 Roadmap includes a list of the involved working groups and their membership.


ESFRI Members

ESFRI Delegates are senior science-policy officials or equivalents, who represent ministers responsible for research in their country. A senior science-policy official represents the European Commission.

The ESFRI Chair is appointed from among the ESFRI delegates, for a two-year non-renewable term.

The ESFRI Executive Board assists the chair in planning ESFRI activities. This board is composed of the ESFRI Chair, the EC representative and of ESFRI Delegates selected by consensus.


ESFRI Executive Secretariat

The ESFRI Secretariat is provided by the European Commission. The secretariat's role is to assist the forum's operation. In particular, the secretariat assists the chair and executive board to prepare and circulate draft agendas, meeting summaries and related documents.


In addition to ESFRI, several European fora contribute to the discussion on RIs, such as the e-Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG), EIROforum — the Association of European-Level Research Infrastructure Facilities (ERF). At international level there is the Group of Senior Officials on Global Research Infrastructures (GSO) and the Global Science Forum (GSF).