Under the Work Programme 2016-2017 this topic will target the long-term sustainability of new research infrastructures, ESFRI and other world-class research infrastructures in Europe, with established governance and legal structure, notably on the basis of the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) or any other suitable structure. Support will be provided to activities aimed at ensuring long-term sustainability, including enlargement of the membership, European coverage, international cooperation[[In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497)]], limited pilots of access provision for testing and improving user services to increase reliability and create trust, definition of service level agreements and business/funding plan, outreach, and technology transfer activities. Proposals should explain any synergies and complementarities with previous or current EU grants.
Specific attention will be given to the interaction with industry and SMEs. Activities may also foster the development of Regional Partner Facilities. The detailed list of activities that can be supported under this topic is given in part B of the section “Specific features for Research Infrastructures”.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 5 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
The new research infrastructures under development at European level, such as those identified in the ESFRI roadmap, are advancing in their implementation phase and/or starting their operation. The initial phase is, however, the most delicate and difficult one for new pan-European infrastructures in the process to become fully operational as financial sustainability must be proved and the trust and awareness of users must be earned.
This activity will:
- contribute to providing Europe with a comprehensive landscape of sustainable Research Infrastructures helping to respond to challenges in science, industry and society;
- strengthen the ERA position and role in the global research environment;
- reinforce the partnership between the Commission, Member States, Associated Countries and relevant stakeholders in establishing pan-European research infrastructures;
- enhance the role of the Union in international organisations and multilateral fora;
- support progress towards the development of global research infrastructures;
- enable researchers to address societal challenges with a global dimension;
- foster capacity-building and Research Infrastructure human capital development in targeted/relevant regions.