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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

18 Aug 2014

Research ministers reflect on future research infrastructures

European research ministers discussed the topics of bringing national road maps into line with the European Strategic Forum for Research infrastructure (ESFRI) and defining a smaller number of priority projects for the forum at their informal meeting in Milan, Italy last week. In May 2014, the ministers had the opportunity to discuss the ESFRI when they approved the implementation of three projects and adopted the roadmap for 2015-2016. It was therefore with a view to continuing the debate on this subject that the Italian Presidency of the Council decided to devote the entire meeting in Milan to the question of research infrastructures (RIs).

Italian Minister Stefania Giannini proposed that ESFRI become a focal point in the analysis of all RIs in the EU, in order to identify the priority areas, avoid duplication of efforts and create synergies between national capacities. She continued by suggesting that, by imitating the model of the European Research Council (ERC), an assessment system could be created, opening the door to the possibility of prioritising European funding to a small number of better researchers within the infrastructures selected. Finally, in order to guarantee its viability, it would have to be ensured that the RIs are “open” and accessible to researchers of all nationalities, she said.

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