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ACTRIS PPP - Aerosols, Clouds and Trace gases Preparatory Phase Project

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ACTRIS PPP (ACTRIS PPP - Aerosols, Clouds and Trace gases Preparatory Phase Project)

Reporting period: 2018-07-01 to 2019-12-31

ACTRIS PPP was a 3-year project aiming to define the most appropriate and cost-efficient long-term organization for ACTRIS. PPP established the legal, financial and administrative elements of ACTRIS and finalised the planning of technical work and support of the construction of ACTRIS facilities. The partners of this project represent the scientific community in the fields covered by ACTRIS, and the consortium involved 28 Beneficiaries, 12 Linked Third Parties and 70 Associate Partners.

By the end of the project, the following main conclusions can be outlined:
- The most suitable governance and management structure for ACTRIS at European level was established.
- The first step towards the establishment of ACTRIS as a legal entity via mutual agreement among the countries involved regarding the core legal entity and the governance structure of the infrastructure for its long-term operation has taken place.
- The ACTRIS financial framework implementing the financial commitments of the ACTRIS members was developed.
- The core National and Central Facilities of ACTRIS were identified and selected. and the required technical work of the RI was finalised.
- The analysis of the socio-economic impact of ACTRIS, links of ACTRIS with European and international components of Earth observation and Earth system science (e.g. Group on Earth Observation, GEO), development of the longer-term overall strategy of the RI, and the building of the necessary agility of operation to meet future user requirements was performed.
- The operational framework for ACTRIS service and access provision was developed.
The main results obtained by the end of the second reporting period are:
- ACTRIS governance and management structure have been established. The Interim ACTRIS council is fully operational, and it has met a total of nine times during ACTRIS PPP.
- The ACTRIS ERIC step 1 was submitted, and the positive feedback from EC was received.
- The final version of the ACTRIS Cost Book, which is a living document, as well as the first draft of the Internal Financial Rules have been released. The first draft of the 5-year financial plan has been approved by the IAC, published and included in Annex II to the Statutes.
- The selection of the candidate hosts for the Central Facilities has been finalised. The first version of the CF implementation plans has been published. The first round of validation for the CF planned activities has been initiated.
- Details of the National Facility labelling process have been documented and published.
- The detailed guidelines and recommendations for the ACTRIS access and service policy, as well as the ACTRIS user strategy, access management and workflows have been established.
- The future organisation of ACTRIS ERIC has been analysed and documented. The long-term strategy for ACTRIS has been proposed. The Global Dimension of ACTRIS has been addressed connecting the RI to international initiatives in other World regions.
- The socio-economic impact of ACTRIS on the research activities of the users of the ACTRIS outcomes and products has been analysed.

Target groups for exploitation and dissemination of ACTRIS PPP results comprise a wide range of communities including: (i) research communities world-wide in atmospheric science and related areas; (ii) national and international bodies with responsibility for the environment; (iii) policy-makers at the national and international level; (iv) private companies; (v) ministries and funding agencies; (vi) educators, and (vii) civil society. The ACTRIS dissemination strategy was fully developed early during the PPP as part of planning of the ACTRIS PPP outreach activities. The dissemination strategy includes: i) the description of the target ACTRIS audience; ii) areas of dissemination actions and their expected impacts; iii) means of dissemination (electronic newsletter, promotional material, web pages, social media, scientific journals and other publications etc.); iv) identifying the measures to assess the user and stakeholder engagement, and v) definition of Key Performing Indicators for dissemination assessment. The plan for dissemination and exploitation of the project results to the target groups concerns data, protocols and methodologies, various meetings, stakeholders and policymakers, international dimension, private sector and internal and external communication.

As part of the exploitation and dissemination activities, ACTRIS PPP also developed comprehensive data management plans, data policy and knowledge management and protection strategy.
ACTRIS PPP had a positive impact on the service provision for generating and disseminating knowledge, on boosting science and technological development, creating human capital, jobs and welfare for the benefit of society, and addressing environmental and societal challenges following the European Research Area (ERA) principles of optimal transnational cooperation and competition.

The preliminary results for the 2017-2019 period show that the ACTRIS continues to contribute to the development of human capital. During PPP over 400 Master and PhD students performed part of their research in ACTRIS, and more than 800 graduates received training at ACTRIS facilities. It is worth mentioning that one in four trainees and researchers/technicians working on ACTRIS infrastructures are expected to come from abroad, strengthening the European Research Area in terms of integration.

The development and operation of a research infrastructure has a significant impact on the creation, further development, and diffusion of scientific knowledge. During ACTRIS PPP, a total of 1052 and 679 articles were published in scientific journals with peer-review and in proceedings of international conferences, respectively. A 152 Ph.D. dissertations were completed. 53 workshops and 17 conferences were organised. In addition, ACTRIS resulted in the development of approximately 30 new methodologies, prototypes or designs during ACTRIS PPP. Organizations involved in the development and operation of the infrastructure are among the main beneficiaries, however, research infrastructures are also gradually becoming a point of attraction for scientists and scientific groups from abroad or other organizations at national level, who are interested in carrying out part of their scientific research in the infrastructure in question. This enhances scientific co-operation, facilitates the diffusion of knowledge and the scientific dialogue, while organizations operating the infrastructure gain reputation and recognition. All these result in attracting additional funding for research and development, which is very critical for the sustainability and enhancement of research groups in a competitive environment.

ACTRIS research infrastructure has attracted considerable funding for research and development, approaching € 87 million in 2017-2019. Focusing on research infrastructure partnerships with industry and more generally the private sector, it has been shown that the funding received is expected to be approximately € 12 million during the ACTRIS PPP period. During ACTRIS PPP, around 90 contracts were signed by organizations involved in ACTRIS with private companies to develop and upgrade the research infrastructure, widening the number of businesses involved in these activities during ACTRIS PPP.
ACTRIS logo in high resolution
ACTRIS - measuring the atmosphere
ACTRIS logo in low resolution