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Research infrastructures services for responding to climate-related risks on the environment

Climate change and land use are increasing the occurrence and severity of natural hazards notably floods, storm surges, landslides, droughts, desertification, cryosphere melting and fires in Europe and their negative impacts. Research to understand the interlinked processes and to develop new knowledge and tools necessary to better predict, mitigate and adapt to these risks requires an integrated and strongly cross-disciplinary approach and access to very diverse research infrastructures (such as observatories, experimental facilities, modelling capacities or data infrastructures). However, necessary research infrastructures, including those prioritised by ESFRI, are often targeting primarily one or few disciplines, scientific communities or risks and cannot, individually, sufficiently serve a truly integrated and cross-disciplinary approach.

Proposals will bring together key complementary and possibly heterogeneous national and European research infrastructures to provide effective access to an integrated wide range of RI services (e.g.: observations, models and experimental platforms) necessary for highly cross-disciplinary research and innovation addressing climate-related multi-hazards risks in Europe including their social dimension. Actions will in particular offer, when appropriate, fit-for-purpose access modalities facilitating the joint selection and or coherent scheduling of cross-disciplinary user project(s) by several research infrastructures, ad-hoc support and training of (new) users, customised RI data, data products, scientific services including joint services by complementary infrastructures. Actions will develop interoperability among the research infrastructures as well as with relevant initiatives and programmes and facilitate the use of external data and services, such as Copernicus services, to further develop their portfolio of multi- and cross-disciplinary scientific services.

Proposals aim at supporting the provision of trans-national and/or virtual access to researchers as well as training for using the infrastructures, and activities to improve, customise and integrate the services the infrastructures provide, so as to facilitate and integrate the access procedures and to further develop the remote or virtual provision of services.

Proposals should adhere to the guidelines and principles of the European Charter for Access to Research Infrastructures[[]].

Data management (and related ethics issues), interoperability, as well as the connection of digital services (e.g. data services) to the European Open Science Cloud, should be addressed where relevant.

Proposals should duly take into account major European or international initiatives relevant in the field/for the scope. Whenever appropriate, they should foster the use and deployment of global standards.

Proposals should make available to researchers the widest and most comprehensive portfolio of research infrastructures services which are relevant for the scope. To this extent, they should involve, as beneficiaries or as third parties, the necessary interdisciplinary set of research infrastructures of European interest[[A research infrastructure is of European interest when is able to attract users from EU or associated countries other than the country where the infrastructure is located. This includes ESFRI and ERIC infrastructures. ]] that provide such services. The inclusiveness of the proposal will be taken into account in the Excellence score. Proposals including only few of the research infrastructures services relevant to the scope will be scored lower.

Research infrastructures from third countries[[See the Eligibility conditions for this topic.]] may be involved when appropriate, in particular when they offer complementary or more advanced services than those available in Europe.

Proposals should include an outreach plan to actively advertise its services to targeted research communities and, if applicable, to relevant industries, including SMEs.

Proposals are expected to exploit synergies and to ensure complementarity and coherence with other EU grants supporting access provision.

Actions should design customised and/or new RI services taking into account the needs of ongoing research in the field and of existing disaster risk management knowledge platforms and networks (e.g. the JRC Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre). Due attention to the latest development of Horizon Europe priorities, its Missions and Partnerships will ensure appropriate links and complementarities. Actions should provide for a flexible approach to address ad-hoc R&I specific requests and to respond to long-term or recurrent needs.

Proposals could consider, for their inclusion in the service portfolio, relevant services and expertise offered by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), and in particular by its Molecular Ecotoxicology and Microbiology laboratory [[For the participation of the JRC see General Annex B.]], for the detection of antimicrobial resistance genes, viral RNA in water by quantitative PCR, metagenomics analysis of water samples, as well as in-house bioassays systems for detection of chemical pollutants’ mixture analysis.

Proposals will include the list of services/installations[[“Installation” means a part or a service of a research infrastructure that can be used independently from the rest. A research infrastructure consists of one or more installations.]] opened by research infrastructures for trans-national or virtual access and the amounts of units of access made available for users. Further conditions and requirements relating to access provisions that applicants should fulfil when drafting a proposal are given in the “Specific features for Research Infrastructures” section of this Work Programme. Compliance with these provisions will be taken into account during evaluation. In this topic the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content is not a mandatory requirement.