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Integrated Infrastructures Initiative (I3)

Each Integrated Infrastructures Initiative (I3) shall combine, within a single contract, several activities essential to reinforce research infrastructures and to provide an integrated service at the European level. More specifically, it will cover: (1) networking activities (including consortium management); (2) provision of access to transnational users; and (3) joint research activities. The latter will in particular aim at raising the level of the performance of the infrastructures concerned.

NOTE : The three components are now mandatory for each Integrated Infrastructure Initiative (I3)

  1. Networking activities

    Will help to catalyse the mutual coordination and the pooling of resources among the consortium of participants, with the aim of fostering a culture of cooperation between them. This should serve, e.g., to generate critical mass by coordinating research into new instrumentation, new methods, concepts and technologies.

    Networking activities will also aim at spreading good practice, promoting common protocols and interoperability, encouraging complementarity and, where appropriate, developing and maintaining common databases and stimulating the creation of distributed or virtual facilities. Activities in this context will include, where relevant, publicity concerning new opportunities for access, dissemination of knowledge, training courses for potential users and foresight studies.

    They will also cover the coordinated implementation and management of the whole activity. The internal consortium management will, where appropriate, monitor the impact of the various activities (e.g. through statistics on transnational users and related projects).

  2. Transnational access

    The activities of an Integrated Infrastructures Initiative (I3) will cover the support of transnational access to one or more infrastructures among those operated by participants. The characteristics of this type of activity should be similar to those outlined for the scheme in support of individual Transnational Access though with a more collective and coordinated approach to the provision of access to the different infrastructures. In this context, access to a number of infrastructures should be provided in a coherent manner, so as to improve the overall services available to the research community.

    As in the individual scheme, and subject to the same type of peer reviewed selection of potential users, access will typically imply research teams visiting an infrastructure in person or by electronic means. Likewise, access may include, where appropriate, the provision of remote scientific services (e.g. provision of reference materials or samples, performance of sample analysis, etc.).

    Note : A research infrastructure supported for access within an I3 should not be supported, at the same time, under the individual scheme for Transnational Access or vice-versa, or under another I3. An exception will be made only in those cases where the same infrastructure is offering different services under different contracts, provided a clear distinction can be demonstrated between the corresponding populations of potential users.

  3. Joint research activities

    Will support the implementation of one or more joint research projects (e.g. joint research into higher performance techniques, instrumentation or technologies) aimed at improving, in quality or quantity, the service provided by existing infrastructures in a particular field in Europe. Joint research projects should be widely applicable to the different infrastructures in the given class covered by an I3.

    Research projects should be innovative and explore new fundamental technologies or techniques underpinning the use of infrastructures in a given class (e.g. development of new generation equipment, testing of new experimental techniques or methodologies). Attention should be given to potential exploitation of the results, e.g. through the participation of SMEs.

Project Management

Guidelines for preparing the Annual Report

User Group Questionnaire : this questionnaire should be completed by each Group Leader of a user- project supported under an EC Research Infrastructure contract. This exercise will enable the Commission to evaluate the Research Infrastructures Action, to monitor the individual contracts, and to improve the services provided to the scientific community.

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