Policy and international cooperation measures for research infrastructures
In the context of the communication for a reinforced ERA partnership for excellence and growth[[COM (2012) 392 final]], the focus of the policy support measures is related to the effective investment and use of research infrastructures. Following the communication of the Commission on International Cooperation in Research and Innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation for research infrastructures is needed with a number of key third countries/regions seen as strategic for the development, exploitation and management of world-class research infrastructures necessary to address research challenges with a global dimension.
Proposals will address one of the following areas:
- Support Research Infrastructure policy development in terms of exchange of best practices for national Roadmap drafting and evaluation procedures for research infrastructures in order to promote comparability and synchronisation of national procedures and a possible harmonisation of ex-ante and ex-post evaluation mechanisms. The full lifecycle of research infrastructure funding should be duly taken into account. The proposals shall foresee the conduction of an analysis of existing national roadmaps so to extrapolate common trends that could be then proposed as best practices in terms of criteria for inclusion, and for addressing societal needs with cross-cutting/multi-disciplinary approaches. The activity should foresee, amongst other, the organisation of dedicated workshops with the relevant key players both at national and European level (with specific reference to ESFRI and the e-IRG) for validation of the findings and recommendations.
- Conduct an International landscaping exercise for Research Infrastructures to support the EU strategy of International cooperation in this field. Such exercise should build on the ESFRI landscaping exercise. The proposals should demonstrate the added value of the pan European investments in terms of establishing, as appropriate, complementarities to non-European initiatives and should link, as appropriate, to the relevant European and International bodies (i.e. ESFRI, GSO, OECD/GSF).
- Support to trans-disciplinary bilateral cooperation on research infrastructures with Africa. The proposal will build on the past experience and achievements gained in the FP7 project PAERIP (Promoting African – European Research Infrastructure Partnerships), taking also into account the recommendations deriving from the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on science, technology and innovation that has initially focused on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture. Proposals should allow to further landscape the research infrastructure dimension in Africa and identify domains in which cooperation between research infrastructures would be beneficial to consequently developing roadmaps for cooperation. Appropriate involvement of African participants is encouraged and will be taken into account during evaluation. The proposals should in particular:
- Identify and promote opportunities (access and data sharing) available to European scientists in these research infrastructures;
- Help to develop better coordination and cooperation of European research infrastructures with their non-European counterparts, ensuring their global interoperability and reach, and pursuing international agreements on the reciprocal use, openness or co-financing of infrastructures;
- Support the training needs of the Synchrotron light for Experimental Science and Applications (SESAME) facility located in Jordan and the staff exchange with other European light source infrastructures to ensure its optimal use by the research community for world-class research.
A balanced coverage of the various areas is expected as outcome of this topic. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1.5 and 2 million would allow this topic to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
This activity will:
- Strengthen the development of a consistent and dynamic European Research Area policy for research infrastructures;
- Facilitate the exchange of experiences and good practices between the national and/or regional policies and programmes;
- Enhance partnerships between policy makers, funding bodies, academia and industry and promote the development of appropriate monitoring tools for decision making;
- Contribute to the emergence of sustainable approaches for the provision of cross-disciplinary research services;
- Encourage the pooling of resources between infrastructure operators at European level in order to face the grand challenges and to foster a culture of co-operation between them, spreading good practices and encouraging infrastructures to develop in complementary ways.
- Develop cooperation with key international partners for research infrastructures;
- Contribute to the development of a competitive high performance ERA in the global research environment;
- Enhance the role of the Union in international organisations and multilateral fora;
- Contribute to capacity building and research infrastructures human capital development in targeted/relevant regions.