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European Research Infrastructures in a time of crisis by Costas Fotakis FORTH, Heraklion, Crete, Greece (

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Presentation on theme: "European Research Infrastructures in a time of crisis by Costas Fotakis FORTH, Heraklion, Crete, Greece ("— Presentation transcript:

1 European Research Infrastructures in a time of crisis by Costas Fotakis FORTH, Heraklion, Crete, Greece (e-mail:

2 C. Fotakis, IESL-FORTH ( HORIZON 2020 Three priorities: 2. Industrial leadership 3. Societal challenges 1. Excellent science

3 C. Fotakis, IESL-FORTH ( Europe to stay at the forefront of scientific and technological research in all fields. RIs is a key tool for capacity building for: forming poles of attraction for talented young researchers and prominent scientists (reversing the brain drain!). Europe to be a protagonist in tackling current global challenges (e.g. environmental and climatic issues, natural disasters etc.) providing high level of scientific and technical training contributing to the competitiveness of European regions. Priority 1: Excellent Science

4 C. Fotakis, IESL-FORTH ( However,  the prime mission of RIs is serving scientific excellence. How can socio-economic benefits in different Member States be enhanced without compromising this mission?  what are the options for RIs sustainability in the present economic environment?  How to enhance the regional and global impact of European RIs?  What should be the future initiatives of the Commission in supporting RIs towards the Innovation Union and “Horizon 2020”  What synergies should be established for the optimal use of European resources in developing and using RIs ?

5 C. Fotakis, IESL-FORTH ( European Research Infrastructures: A story over 20 years old  Although the need for RIs in Europe was recognized early, attempts to establish RIs by European countries in various fields failed, primarily due to lack of coherence and coordination.  The concept of “Transnational Access” to national RIs is established for the first time in FP2 with the “Large Installations Plan”.  With the advent of ERA, the need for world-class RIs in Europe becomes a key issue and the ESFRI is established for promoting a coherent and strategy led approach.  Nowadays RIs are at the center of the “Knowledge Triangle”.

6 C. Fotakis, IESL-FORTH ( Evolution of RIs from FP2 to FP7  in FP7 the coverage of scientific domains is balanced.

7 C. Fotakis, IESL-FORTH (  To date, more than 300 Ris provide TA within 60 networks which are expected to reach 100 by 2020  Transnational Access is in the core of the RIs programe The current state  The ESFRI Roadmap has been established on the basis of a top-down approach.  FP6 and FP7 have supported Integrated Actions (I3) of networks of existing RIs covering all fields of science through a bottom up approach Two approaches:  To date 48 RI are included in the ESFRI roadmap (including also e-RIs) and 20 more are expected by 2020.

8 C. Fotakis, IESL-FORTH ( Impact of Transnational Access  Differences in operational features: TA in the form of “Services” (e.g. Synchrotrons) or as “Collaborative Projects” (e.g. Lasers) serving the high end of the field. Both quantitative and qualitative issues should be considered:  There are RIs serving only a small number of users but in critical fields for European competitiveness (e.g. aerospace industry).  There are RIs, as the “e-Infrastructures”, serving broader scientific communities worldwide (e.g. GEANT).  Relatively small number of researchers but high profile projects.  RIs are environments which promote scientific excellence.

9 In only one RI cluster: 15 Advanced and 10 Early Stage ERC Grants Research Infrastructures and scientific excellence

10 RIs, Industry and Innovation  FP supported RIs link to the needs of Industry and Society, even if this link can not be as yet quantified. Industry as supplier, user and as an RI itself.  RIs also enable advanced knowledge creation and dissemination enhancing the probability of innovation.  Altogether the scientific culture prevailing in the RIs environments is conducive for serving industrial needs at high level and creating innovation as a result of forefront research. RIs may support both demand-driven innovation for current needs and scientific curiosity-driven innovation for future applications. C. Fotakis, IESL-FORTH (

11 Identifies 44 new (or major upgrade of) Research Infrastructures of pan-European interest The EC funds 3 additional projects from the CERN Council strategic roadmap for particle physics* Distributed research infrastructures Single sited research infrastructures Social Sc. & Hum. ( 5 ) Life Sciences ( 10 ) Environmental Sciences ( 10 ) Material and Analytical Facilities ( 6 ) Physics and Astronomy ( 11 ) Energy ( 4 ) e-Infra- structures (1) SHAREBBMRIELIXIRICOS EURO- ARGO EUROFELELI TIARA * ECCSELPRACE European Social Survey ECRIN INFRA FRONTIER LIFEWATC H IAGOSEMFLPRINSCTAJHR CESSDAINSTRUCTEATRISEMSOEPOS European XFEL SPIRAL2SKAIFMIF CLARIN EU- OPENSCRE EN EMBRCSIAEOSEISCAT_3D ESRF Upgrade E-ELTFAIRHiPER DARIAH Euro BioImaging ERINHA BSL4 Lab COPAL AURORA BOREALIS NEUTRON ESS KM3NeT ILC- HIGRADE * ILL20/20 Upgrade SLHC-PP * ESFRI roadmap

12 C. Fotakis, IESL-FORTH ( FP7 new concepts!  Targeted calls for I3 proposals aiming to interface existing RIs to those pursued by ESFRI.  The “European Research Infrastructure Consortium” (ERIC) increasing flexibility by facilitating the cooperation of RIs as legal entities and creating several privileges (e.g. VAT exemption).  The “Regional Partner Infrastructures” for enhancing the impact of RIs and encountering socio-economic disparities.  The “Risk Sharing Finance Facility” (RSFF) for joint funding through EC and EIB.

13 C. Fotakis, IESL-FORTH ( European Added Value through the RIs Programme The ESFRI Roadmap: attracted Member State’s attention to the importance of RIs and to the projects of the ESFRI roadmap stimulated the development of national roadmaps and the setting-up of priorities in relation to the ESFRI roadmap mobilised many countries to host an ESFRI project or participate in others The Integrated (I3) Activities: provide an effective frame for approaching the scientific frontiers in different fields and addressing scenarios for their long term development and their potential European role.

14 Member States participation in e- RI projects

15 C. Fotakis, IESL-FORTH ( 1.A question of sustainability: 48 ESFRI projects, including e- RIs, are discussed in the context of a major economic crisis  requiring major financial investment (~20 b€)  long term commitment for operation (~2 b€/year) Note: The total amount for RTD activities under Structural Funds is currently ~50b€, from which 9.8 b€, (i.e. 1.4 b€ per year) is allocated for “RTD infrastructures and centers of competence” However: The impact in FP7 was rather limited! 2.Inherent complexity of the process of developing major projects in partnerships between several countries  many delays associated with international negotiations and discrepancies in national decision-making A real challenge : the sustainability of European RIs

16 A clear need for financial synergies MS EC EIBPS Code MS: Member StatesSF: Structural Funds EC: European CommissionFP: Framework Programme EIB: European Investment Bank PS: Private Sector SF FP Costs (M€)

17 National RIs in Greece  Astroparticle Physics (NESTOR)  Astronomy (observatory with remote controlled telescope)  Marine Sciences (research vessels, submersibles, etc.)  Natural Disasters (Earthquakes)  Information Technology  Life Sciences, Biomedicine  Laser Technology  Social Sciences & Humanities  Other….

18 ESFRI: Participation of Greece Scientific Area (ESFRI) Greek participation in ESFRI RIs Biological & Medical Sciences BBMRI, EATRIS, ELIXIR, Infrafrontier, EMBRC, EURO-Biolmaging, ERINHA, ISBE EnergyHiPER, ECCSEL, EU-SOLARIS, WindSCANNER Phsical Sciences & Engineering ELI, KM3NeT Material, Analytical Facilities European XFEL Environmental SciencesCOPAL, EMSO, EPOS, EURO-ARGO, LIFEWATCH Social Sciences & Humanities CESSDA, SHARE, CLARIN, DARIAH e-infrastructuresPRACE in bold: supported by SF

19 C. Fotakis, IESL-FORTH ( RIs in Greece Funding of 13 national networks of RIs connected to ESFRI RIs: 31 M€ Participation in the Preparatory Phase of 24 ESFRI projects e-Infrastructures: budget 20 M€ 2 National Road Maps (2007, 2009)

20 From FP7 to Horizon 2020 An increased budget, from around €1.7 billion (FP7) to €2.5 billion (Horizon 2020 – 2011 constant prices) New activities to support the implementation and operation of world-class infrastructures such as ESFRI infrastructures Continuation of the successful FP7 Integrating Activities (I3) Reinforcement of the support to e-infrastructures New objective of better exploiting the innovation potential and human capital of infrastructures Synergies with Structural Funds through the concept of “Smart Specialization”

21 Smart Specialization as a damp Today: “Competitiveness” has replaced “Cohesion” which in cases may lead to undesirable side-effects Linking HORIZON 2020 to Regional policies through “smart specialization”

22 Some comments  “Smart specialization” relies on “prioritization” for a better use of resources. In a region with 30% unemployment what is the priority?  an exit strategy and a mechanism for adaptation should be forseen together with the commitment for “specialization”. C. Fotakis, IESL-FORTH (  Need for openness: There is danger for the most innovative and groundbreaking research to be set aside!

23 Socio-economic impact of RIs  Activities within European RIs may accelerate processes which enhance the scientific and entrepreneurial culture in European regions.  TA alone is not adequate in establishing coherence (or competitiveness) at regional level: The formation of regional RI hubs, which provide good science, technology, talent and entrepreneurial challenges are important for having regional impact.  The development and operation of RIs benefit primarily local and regional companies and provide new jobs at many levels. C. Fotakis, IESL-FORTH ( Overall European RIs form dynamic “eco-systems” which may provide prospects and opportunities to the most valuable asset of European regions: People!

24 Example 1: the SPIRAL 2 ion accelerator


26 Example 2: The Laser Facility at FORTH in Crete (a member of the LASERLAB-Europe Network) 270 projects, 440 researchers from 19 European countries in 3043days of access Access provided during1990-2012

27 Socio - economic impact of IESL - FORTH The Laser RI at FORTH has been the nucleus for the development of IESL-FORTH which has: led to the creation of 240 jobs of mostly highly skilled personnel (administrative, technical, scientific)  the cost of salaries for these jobs is ~ 6.5 M €/year while the Regular Budget received from the State is ca. 2 M €/year!  apart from salaries, contributes directly to the local economy ~ 4 M €/year (consumables, services, scientific tourism etc) a multiplier effect on local business and the establishment of 4 spinoff companies become the pole of attraction of talented young researchers and prominent scientists in the region of Crete contributed to the development of the University of Crete created a “scientific school” with alumni and networks worldwide a cultural, social and educational impact on the local community including outreach activities C. Fotakis, IESL-FORTH (

28 RIs and Regional Policy Issues a)supporting RIs based on regional scientific excellence and talent thus optimizing the use of European resources and complementing the impact of major RIs. b)establishing networks of RIs for less research-intensive countries.  RPFs may be an effective way towards enhancing scientific and technological excellence and simultaneously countering societal, cultural and economic challenges at regional level. The “smart growth for Europe 2020” in a time of crisis should place emphasis on capacity building through: c)supporting “Regional Partner Facilities” (RPFs)” for enhancing the impact of scientific talent and expertise in the Regions and the global impact of European RIs. Example: Greek researchers in 2012 (i.e. in a year of deep crisis) produced 9281 scientific papers with 1.13% of them at the top 1% of most cited papers worldwide (Nature, v.492, 324 (2012)). – A performance comparable to that of highly research active countries!

29 Priorities and Vision Consolidate RIs as multi-disciplinary platforms for regional/global collaborations Pool and reinforce regional capacities Support international collaborations that are strategic for European scientific partnerships Adopt adequate organizational and governance models

30 Future EU research: Which path to follow? From thematic priorities to problem oriented Challenges? Increased coordination of national budgets or strengthening of European institutions (EIT, ERC…)? Balance between: – National versus European level? – Frontier research versus problem oriented research? – Collaboration versus competition? Governance of ERA?

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