Brussels, 08 Apr 2005
A group of high level experts has presented the European Commission with a list of 23 examples of scientific infrastructure which it believes Europe will need in the coming decade.
In a letter to EU Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik, the chairman of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructure (ESFRI) Hans Chang writes: 'It is hoped that this list, [...] will assist the Commission in the preparation of its proposal for Framework Programme VII. Furthermore, the publication of this list should encourage scientific communities to speed up their reflections on new Research Infrastructures of pan-European interest and to inform ESFRI of their views.'
The 23 facilities were selected from a 149 proposals. The final selection addresses the following
- physics and astronomy (four projects);
- nanotechnologies (one project);
- multidisciplinary facilities for the analysis of matter (four projects). Three of these projects concern new generation sources for neutrons and photons; the fourth is an upgrade of the European third generation synchrotron;
- supercomputing (one project);
- environmental sciences (four projects);
- biological and medical sciences (seven projects);
- social sciences and humanities (two projects).
The detailed list of infrastructures contains a short description of the project and its main characteristics, the scientific justification for developing the infrastructure, its likely impact on society and new technologies for industry, its strategic importance for the European Research Area (ERA), the current state of play with regard to infrastructures of this type, and budgetary information.
The facilities on the list are medium to large-scale, and will cost between 100 million and one billion euro to build or develop. In a number of cases, particularly biology, the projects involve creating a network of facilities located in several countries.
Commissioner Potocnik welcomed the list, saying: 'In this competition for excellence, we must adopt a common European approach, and define clear priorities to fund the most important projects over the next ten to 20 years.'
All of the facilities selected for the list meet certain criteria set by ESFRI. One of the decisive factors dictating whether or not a proposal was selected was the maturity of the project - the infrastructure had to be 'mature' enough to be able to start spending funds during the course of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
For further information, including the full list of facilities, please visit: