17 Jun 2021
ESFRI Chair Jan Hrušák outlines impact of Covid-19 pandemic on research infrastructures
In an interview with Science|Business, Jan Hrušák, Chair of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), has recently dicussed the impact of the new circumstances imposed by the coronavirus pandemic on Research Infrastructures (RIs), among other pressing issues.
In response to COVID-19, Europe’s research labs scrambled to make the best use of their resources and offered remote access for researchers. Now some of the enforced changes are set to become a permanent feature. According to ESFRI Chair Jan Hrušák, big labs will fine tune remote access schemes and allow more researchers to send in samples for those projects that do not require their physical presence in the lab.
Hrušák says research infrastructures have been severely hit by the crisis - for instance due to fast-tracking urgent health projects, travel restrictions and lockdowns - , and were having difficulties working in the traditional way and facing difficulties in providing access to users. However, he envisages new ways for RIs to connect to the users in future. With regard to international cooperation, RIs are increasing international access, but at the same time they have to find a balance between openness and keeping operational costs under control, according to Hrušák. The ESFRI Chair also highlights the importance of establishing international labs with local impact.
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To read the full interview on Science|Business, please click here.