Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: Research infrastructures, as providers of advanced services and as procurers of leading-edge technologies, have an innovation potential that has not always been sufficiently exploited in the past. There is a clear innovation potential associated with procurement from industry during the construction of a new research infrastructure. However, enterprises (including SMEs) may not realise that they have the opportunity to benefit from this potential simply due to a lack of awareness. On the other hand, industry may find entry barriers to this sector. Moreover, users from industry typically constitute a very small fraction of a research infrastructure's users, again because they may not be aware of the availability of research infrastructures or of an infrastructure's potential relevance to their own R&D activities. There is therefore a need to stimulate innovation both from within the research infrastructures themselves and in their supplier industry.

Scope: Proposals should address the following areas:

1.        Development of a portal of calls, tenders and future needs and technology transfer opportunities in research infrastructures of pan European interest;

2.        Networking of procurement professionals to encourage exchange of good practices across research infrastructure sectors;

3.        Awareness campaign towards industry (including SMEs) on the potential of research infrastructures for their activities in selected R&D areas;

As a first step a repository with the innovation capabilities, purchasing plans, and industrial linkages of the various research infrastructures should be set up, creating an initial point of contact for interested innovation actors. To facilitate the process, the creation of a registry of research infrastructures innovation capabilities and of topical/sectorial research infrastructure industry forums is envisaged to gather and to consolidate the views from industrial sector actors. This should be complemented by thematic knowledge networks that analyse and highlight specific innovation aspects. The Industrial Liaison Officers (ILO), usually appointed for large research infrastructures, should be involved in these networks.

The Commission expects to fund a single proposal under this heading.

Expected impact:  

Research infrastructure projects (including ESFRI roadmap initiatives) actively participate in the innovation process and fully exploit their innovation potential.  Support provided to industry (including SMEs) in the construction and usage of research infrastructures will lead to enhanced competitiveness of the involved actors. Thereby they will contribute to the technological development and exploitation capacity of the European Research Area. In particular this activity will:

·         increase the involvement of industry (including SMEs) in the development of research infrastructures, raising the technological level and competitiveness of European companies;

·         raise the awareness of industry (including SMEs) regarding opportunities offered by research infrastructure to improve their products, e.g. as experimental test facilities, innovation hubs, knowledge-based centres;

·         support the integration of research infrastructures into local, regional and global innovation systems.

·         When applicable, the socio-economic impact of past investments in research infrastructures from the European Structural and Investment Funds is enhanced.


Type of action: Coordination and support actions


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