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Research infrastructures services advancing frontier knowledge

This topic aims at providing trans-national access (on-site or remote) and/or virtual access to integrated and customised RI services for curiosity-driven research in wide scientific domains, offered by a wide range of complementary and interdisciplinary top level research infrastructures. Scientific domains are identified on the basis of a Multi-Annual Priority Setting (MAPS) exercise aiming at achieving a balanced coverage of scientific disciplines addressed under the INFRASERV destination as well as complementarities with Horizon 2020 ongoing grants offering access provision. Within identified domains, emerging areas of research can also be served. The MAPS follows the taxonomy used in the ESFRI Roadmap.

In 2021, the scientific domains called under this topic are:

  • Geosphere, including geo-hazards and geo-resources;
  • Biosphere: terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystems, including Arctic and forest;
  • Particle and nuclear physics.

Training for using the infrastructures, and activities to improve, customise and harmonise 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 may also be supported.

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 domain. Whenever appropriate, they should foster the use and deployment of (open) global standards.

Proposals should make available to researchers the widest and most comprehensive portfolio of research infrastructures services which are relevant for frontier research in the domain. 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.

Proposals in the Geosphere domain 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 European Laboratory for Structural Assessment (ELSA)[[For the participation of the JRC see General Annex B.]], for testing full-scale large structures under earthquakes and other threats to structural stability. The unique dimensions and testing capabilities of the ELSA Reaction Wall permit bi-directional testing of real size multi-storey buildings and critical elements of even larger structures, such as bridges.

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

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.