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Swedes publish roadmap for research infrastructures

Sweden has produced its first long-term plan for research infrastructures in the country. The Swedish Research Council's Guide to Infrastructure will form the basis of discussions on research infrastructures with research financiers both in Sweden and elsewhere.

'As I see it,...

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Sweden has produced its first long-term plan for research infrastructures in the country. The Swedish Research Council's Guide to Infrastructure will form the basis of discussions on research infrastructures with research financiers both in Sweden and elsewhere.

'As I see it, the prime function of the Swedish Research Council's Guide to Infrastructure is that it presents a broad survey of what initiatives are needed to give Swedish researchers access to the key tools for future frontline research,' commented Madelene Sandström, Chair of the Swedish Research Council's Committee for Research Infrastructures.

The launch of the Swedish research infrastructures plan comes hot on the heels of the publication earlier this month of the European Roadmap for Research Infrastructures.

'The two documents complement each other,' said Lars Börjesson who was involved in the compilation of both the European and Swedish roadmaps. 'Since the European proposals are on such a large scale, Sweden will only be able to participate in a few of the collaborative projects.'

According to the document, the top priority for infrastructures in Sweden now is to implement infrastructures which have already been approved. These include the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), which will be the world's leading radio telescope, and which Sweden contributes to through the European Southern Observatory. Another project in this category is the MAX-lab at Lund University, a synchrotron radiation laboratory for advanced material studies in several disciplines.

High priority is also given to projects where a decision on Swedish participation is needed within a year, such as the joint European Spallation Source (ESS).

As is the case with the European infrastructure roadmap, the Swedish roadmap is not a definitive list of projects and does not represent a funding commitment. The Swedish Research Council plans to update the report every year, with the next version due in mid- 2007. Before then, the Swedish Research Council will investigate Swedish interest in the infrastructures proposed in the European Roadmap for Research Infrastructures.

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