This topic aims at supporting the development of new concepts for the next generation 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.]], single/multi sited, distributed or virtual, that none or few countries might individually be able to implement. All fields of research can be considered.
Major upgrades of existing infrastructures may also be considered if the end result is significantly transformative and equivalent to a new infrastructure concept. The possibility to extend the scope of already existing infrastructures and/or integrate in a sustainable way existing pan-European and national capacities to address the specific RI service needs, should indeed be assessed as a first option, identifying what is missing and the necessary new developments.
Proposals for RI concept development will tackle all key questions concerning the technical and conceptual feasibility of new or upgraded fully fledged user facilities.
In this respect, proposals should address all following aspects:
- demonstrate relevance in relation to ERA, including to the existing landscape, and the expected advancement with respect to the state-of-art of the new or upgraded infrastructure;
- highlight the research challenges the new or upgraded research infrastructures will make possible to address, including at global level;
- indicate the gaps in the research infrastructure landscape the new or upgraded infrastructure will cover and the synergies with other existing infrastructures at European and global level, including those co-financed from other EU instruments (e.g.: Cohesion policy);
- indicate, when relevant, the potential impact of the new research infrastructure at regional level.
Proposals should also convincingly demonstrate that the project will effectively:
- identify technologies and the architecture (e.g. single site or distributed, …) for developing the research infrastructure;
- identify scientific user communities (and their related needs) that will benefit from access to RI services, including scientific data and instrumentation, and develop the planning of research services to users;
- identify governance options as well as strategic approaches for institutional/stakeholders’ commitment and engagement and for ensuring a wide membership;
- develop initial financial plans for the implementation and operation of the new or upgraded RI as well as preliminary ideas for long-term sustainability, including synergies with other funds and programmes (e.g.: ERDF);
- develop plans for an efficient data curation and preservation and for the provision of access to data collected or produced by the future infrastructure, in line with the FAIR principles.
Proposals considering just a new component of a research infrastructure are not in scope of this topic.
When relevant, environmental (including climate-related) impacts as well as the optimisation of resource and energy use should be integrated in the concept development of new or upgraded research infrastructures. In this topic the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content is not a mandatory requirement.