ESFRI Objectives & Vision

The mission of ESFRI is to support a coherent and strategy-led approach to policy-making on research infrastructures in Europe, and to facilitate multilateral initiatives leading to the better use and development of research infrastructures, at EU and international level. ESFRI's delegates are nominated by the Research Ministers of the Member and Associate Countries, and include a representative of the Commission, working together to develop a joint vision and a common strategy. This strategy aims at overcoming the limits due to fragmentation of individual policies and provides Europe with the most up-to-date Research Infrastructures, responding to the rapidly evolving Science frontiers, advancing also the knowledge-based technologies and their extended use.

As the Europe 2020 strategy is implemented over the coming decade, research infrastructures will play an important role in stimulating innovation, solving our grand societal challenges, and impelling openness, excellence and collaboration. Thus, we have a vision for RIs in 2020. We call upon our leaders to act upon it. The ESFRI vision seeks to extend this capability to all research fields, driving innovation. It envisions all EU Member States working coherently and jointly together on RIs, to overcome existing limits. Our main objective is an open, competitive and level playing field for RIs, permitting access to all major facilities needed for cutting-edge research, advanced technologies and world-class education. This requires sustainable policies and funding, and that European resources be coordinated and pooled in the most effective way. In many cases the size, scope and cost of research infrastructures require multi-lateral or even global agreement; in these circumstances, the EU must be able to negotiate on an equal footing with international partners. 

This vision is feasible thanks to the development of strong trust and understanding between national policy. makers, working in ESFRI. This EU-level action will help make the best use of limited resources and show how science remains a basic tool for the construction and strengthening of Europe.

Since its establishment in 2002, ESFRI’s main objectives are:
• to support a coherent and strategy-led approach to policy making on research infrastructures in Europe;
 • to facilitate multilateral initiatives leading to a better use and development of research infrastructures acting as an incubator for pan-European and global research infrastructures; 
• to establish a European Roadmap for research infrastructures (new and major upgrades, pan-European interest) for the coming 10-20 years, stimulate the implementation of these facilities, and update the Roadmap as the need arises;
 • to ensure the follow-up of implementation of already ongoing ESFRI projects after a comprehensive assessment, as well as the prioritisation of the infrastructure projects listed in the ESFRI Roadmap. 

ESFRI has also become an important point of reference for funding strategy for RI concerning national and EU funding instruments. It contributes to the alignment of RI decision making at regional, national and global level – particularly with a view on smart specialisation strategies and with national RI roadmap development.