The Council has adopted conclusions on research infrastructures (RIs), which are a cornerstone in the development of the European Research Area (ERA).
The ERA aims to create a single EU market for research, innovation and technology. First launched in 2000, the ERA has helped to boost EU research and innovation by encouraging the free circulation of researchers and knowledge, and by aligning national research policies and programmes.
“Be it a new software update on your phone or a new medicine, innovations have a positive impact on our lives. European research infrastructures provide the high-quality resources and services that our research communities need to develop these cutting-edge innovations that benefit society as a whole.” Vladimír Balaš, Czech Minister for Education, Youth and Sport
The network of pan-European RIs is one of the success stories of the development of the ERA: Europe has one of the most advanced and integrated RI systems in the world. RIs are top-class facilities that provide resources and services for research communities to conduct research and foster innovation. Examples of RI facilities are computer systems, archives or scientific data infrastructures, and sets of instruments. They provide knowledge-based solutions to societal challenges and help to deliver the EU’s green and digital transitions.
RIs provide scientists and innovators with unique expertise, technical devices, data and services to perform cutting-edge basic and applied research, to boost technological advancement and breakthrough innovations. They also bring benefits to industries and SMEs.
The Council conclusions recognise the need to further strengthen RIs and facilitate broader access to them, since they can greatly contribute to the competitiveness of the European economy.