Brussels, le 9 décembre 2008
Ten major new EU research infrastructures
welcomed by European Commission
Infectious diseases, carbon dioxide management, natural disasters warning,
space observation: there are among the top priorities areas where 10 new
Pan-European Research Infrastructures will be set up. The European
Commission is supporting this commitment as a key step in building the
European Research Area and addressing the most important needs of
society. This new wave of Research Infrastructures was unveiled today at
the European Conference on Research Infrastructures 2008, jointly organised
by the European Commission and the European Strategy Forum for
Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), in Versailles. The roadmap will include
ambitious projects such as high security labs for research on fatal human
pathogens, cutting edge installations to test technologies for carbon dioxide
capture and storage, state-of-the-art radars to study the Earth’s atmosphere,
infrastructures to better understand the physical processes controlling
earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis and new generation
telescopes for high-energy gamma-ray astronomy.
Commenting on this update, Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Science
and research said "Developing world class infrastructures is an essential part of
building the European Research Area, and must be one of the priorities of the EU
and national recovery plans. To get these infrastructures operational quickly, I hope
that Member States will also avoid any further delays in adopting the proposal for a
European legal framework for European research infrastructures (ERI). This legal
status, tailor-made for international cooperation on major projects, will reduce the
administrative burdens and time-wasting involved in negotiating VAT status, excise
rules and public procurement on a case-by-case basis. We have no time to lose in
developing "smart" investments in research."
The 10 new infrastructures have been identified by ESFRI, composed of
representatives of Member States. This followed an intensive consultation process,
involving more than 200 experts. They constitute an update of the ESFRI Roadmap
describing the needs for pan-European Research Infrastructures for the next 10-20
years presented in 2006. 35 key European projects across many fields of science
and technology had been identified.
Today's update brings the number of identified priority projects to 44 Research
Infrastructures in all fields of Science. In total 34 of the 35 projects on the Roadmap
2006 were endorsed and 10 new infrastructures are proposed. Among these ten
new projects retained are (see Annex):
3 projects in the field of Environmental Sciences
4 projects in Biological and Medical Sciences
1 project non-nuclear Energy
1 Project in Materials and Analytical Facilities
1 project in Physical Sciences and Engineering
The thirty-four (34) projects from the initial roadmap are today supported in their
preparatory phases through the European Commission Framework Programmes for
Research and Development (FP). Each preparatory phase benefits from 4 M€ of FP
contribution on average, to provide a catalytic and leveraging support leading to the
construction of the new research infrastructures or major upgrades of the existing ones.
To support these new developments the Commission plans to open a FP7 call for
proposals, at the end of 2009.
A key role for the European Union
The EU actions aim to optimise the use and development of the best existing research
infrastructures in Europe. The EU budget for research infrastructures has increased from
730 M€ in 6th FP to more than 1,700 M€ in 7th FP for triggering such a joint development
and operation in all fields of science and technology.
For existing infrastructures, the EU FPs currently support the integration of more than 60
categories of existing research installations, from synchrotrons to genomics databases,
from high-performance computers to environmental observatories. It directly helps the
networking of more than 350 research infrastructures. It also directly supports each year
several thousands of European researchers and scientists to travel to the facilities in
order to carry out their experiments, and several hundreds of thousands of European
users to retrieve essential data sets via internet.
For more information on EU Research infrastructures and the role of ESFRI see
See also IP/08/1142 on EU legal framework for European Research Infrastructures
The 10 new projects from the ESFRI Roadmap Update
Environmental Sciences (3 projects)
Upgrade of the European Incoherent Scatter radar system (EISCAT 3D upgrade) which
provides state-of-the-art radar facilities to study various processes taking place in the Earth’s
atmosphere. These studies can help understanding the formation and evolution of our own,
and other, solar systems.
Estimated costs:
Preparatory phase: 2009-2011
Preparation costs: 6 M€
Construction phase: 2011-2015
Total construction costs: 250 M€ for all sites.
Operation: 2015-2045
Operation costs: 4-10 M€/year
construction costs
European Plate Observing System (EPOS) will be a distributed infrastructure integrating
the currently scattered facilities, into one distributed but coherent multidisciplinary
infrastructure. It will promoting innovative approaches for a better understanding of the
physical processes controlling earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis, as well as
those driving tectonics and Earth surface dynamics. EPOS will be connected to similar
initiatives in satellite Earth observing systems and ocean sciences within GEOSS and
Estimated costs:
Preparatory phase 2008-2012
Preparation costs: 12 M€
Construction phase: 2012-2018
Total construction costs: 500 M€
Operation: 2018-2048 onwards
Operation costs: 80 M€/year
Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing Facility (SIAEOS) is the upgrade of the
present infrastructure on Svalbard. It integrates the studies of geophysical, chemical and
biological processes from all research and monitoring platforms - land, sea, ice/glacier and
atmosphere/space based - thus responding to a highly relevant need to monitor global
environmental change.
Estimated costs:
Preparatory phase 2008-2010
Preparation costs: 2-5 M€
Construction phase, 2010-2012
Total construction costs: 50 M€
Operations 2012 onwards
Operation costs: 9.5 M€/year
Biological and Medical Sciences (4 projects)
European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC). The existing main costal marine
laboratories will be integrated within a new distributed research infrastructure to provide
access to model marine organisms and their ecosystems, as well as to modern technology
and genomic resources.
Estimated costs:
Preparatory phase Years 1-2
Preparation costs: 10M€.
Construction phase years 3-8
Total construction costs: 100 M€
Operation phase Year 5 onwards
Operation costs: 60M€/year
European Infrastructure of Open Screening Platforms for Chemical Biology (EUOPENSCREEN) will allow researchers in academia and SMEs to access resources for the
development of bioactive small molecules. A central facility will make available a large
collection of diverse compounds representing the chemical knowledge of Europe. It will also
be an association of high throughput screening centres. These will offer chemical resources
for hit discovery and optimisation, bio- and chem-informatics support, and a publicly
accessible database of protocols and results.
Estimated costs:
Preparatory phase: 2009-2011
Preparation costs: 4-5 M€
Construction phase: 2011-2012
Total construction costs: 40 M€
Operation phase: starting in 2012
Operation costs: 40 M€/year
European Biomedical Imaging Infrastructure – from molecule to patient
(EuroBioImaging) will provide access to imaging technologies across the full scale of
biological and medical applications, from molecule to patient. It will be organised as a panEuropean distributed research infrastructure focused on complementary imaging
technologies from advanced light microscopy to medical imaging.
Estimated costs:
Preparatory phase: 2009-2010
Preparation costs: 10 M€
Construction phase: 2010-2014
Total construction costs: 370 M€
Operation: 2012 onwards
Operation costs: 160 M€/year
European High Security BSL-4 laboratories will help to face any pandemic outcome from
emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. This is a scientific challenge that implies
coordinated survey and study of level 4 pathogens. This new research infrastructure is
realised through a major upgrade of existing High Security Laboratories, building new ones,
and developing a European coordination body.
Estimated costs:
Preparatory phase: 3 years
Preparation costs: 5M€
Construction phase: 60 months
Total construction costs: 174 M€
Operation costs: 24 M€/year
Energy (1 project)
European Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Laboratory Infrastructure (ECCSEL). It
combines three approaches to capture (pre and post combustion and O2/CO2 -oxyfuelrecycle combustion capture) and three approaches to carbon storage (aquifers, depleted
oil/gas fields, coal bed methane). The project is based on the upgrading of existing national
infrastructures to European level. The upgraded facility is composed of distributed parts in
different countries and a coordination centre in Norway.
Estimated costs:
The facility will be in operation in 2011
Preparation costs: 3-4 M€
Total construction costs: 81 M€
Operation costs: 6 M€/year
Decommissioning costs: 2 M€
Materials and Analytical Facilities (1 Project)
European Magnetic Field Laboratory (EMFL) will be a dedicated magnet field laboratory
providing the highest possible fields (both continuous and pulsed) to European researchers.
It will be operated as a single distributed research infrastructure which integrates and
upgrades the four already existing major European high magnetic field laboratories in
Grenoble and Toulouse (France) as well as Dresden (Germany), and Nijmegen (The
Estimated costs:
The construction of the new EMFL
facility is expected to start in 2011
after a 2 years preparatory phase,
and to last for 5 years. The facility
should remain in operation for at least
15 years.
Preparation costs: 10M€
Total construction costs: ~120 M€
Operation costs: 8 M€/year additional, or
22M€/year including existing budgets
Decommissioning costs: not applicable
Physical Sciences and Engineering (1 project)
Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) will be an advanced facility for ground-based highenergy gamma-ray astronomy. With two sites, in both the southern and northern
hemispheres, it will extend the study of astrophysical origin gamma-rays at energies of a few
tens of GeV and above. It will enable the first complete and detailed view of the universe in
this part of the radiation spectrum and will contribute towards a better understanding of
astrophysical and cosmological processes.
Estimated costs:
Preparatory Phase: 2006-2011
Preparation costs:~8M€
Construction: 2012-2017
Total construction costs: ~150 M€
Operation 2018 (partial operation after
Operating costs: ~10M€/year
Expected lifetime is 20-30 years
Decommissioning costs: ~10M€