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07/3/14 2:15 PM

Competitiveness Council encourages the states to use Structural Funds on ESFRI's development

The European Union member states can consider investing in the implementation and operation of ESFRI projects using also European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) by including the Research Infrastructure (RI) in their research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation (RIS), wich will be a key in the new pluriannual financial framework in the Union up until 2020, says the Competitiveness Council.

The European Union member states can consider investing in the implementation and operation of ESFRI projects using also European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) by including the Research Infrastructure (RI) in their research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation (RIS), wich will be a key in the new pluriannual financial framework in the Union up until 2020, says the Competitiveness Council.

In its conclusions of the meeting held in 26 May 2014, the Council also heartes the national authorities to use the possibility of financing operations outside the ESIF programme areas like Horizon 2020 funds or national and regional meanings. Hence, it suggest the Commission and the member states to enhance synergies between every financing channel.

Moreover, it recognises the importance and progress of further ESFRI projects, and highlighted the potential for distributed infrastructures to deliver integrated services and hence greater scientific impact in research, particularly environmental and biological.In this respect, the Council confirms the member states' commitment to focus their available national resources on the respective prioritised projects they are financially participating in.

The European institution aknowleged the work done by ESFRI to identify priority projects which are mature enough to be under implementation 2015-2016, pinpointing three initiatives that have been defined as strategically relevant for Europe and are also ready for development:

–  the European Plate Observing System (EPOS),

–  the European Life-Science Infrastructure for Biological Information (Elixir), and

–  the European Spallation Source (ESS).

The resulting prioritisation of projects for implementation will be fed into an updated ESFRI roadmap with Research Infrastructure (RI) of pan-European interest.

Research infrastructures refers to facilities, resources and related services used by the scientific community to conduct top-level research. They may be 'single-sited' (at a single location), 'distributed' (a network of resources) or 'virtual' (with services provided electronically). These key infrastructures have not only been responsible for some of the greatest scientific discoveries and technological developments, but are also influential in attracting the best researchers from around the world and in building bridges between research communities and scientific disciplines.