Research Infrastructures and the Regional Dimension of the ERA, MEMO/09/134, Brussels, 25 March 2009:
Importance of Research Infrastructures for Europe
- [definition:] “Research Infrastructure” are facilities, resources and related services that are used by the scientific community to conduct top-level research in their respective fields. This definition covers: major scientific equipment or sets of instruments; knowledge based-resources such as collections, archives or structured scientific information; enabling ICT-based infrastructures such as Grid, computing, software and communications. Such Research Infrastructures may be “single-sited” or “distributed” (a network of resources).
- [examples of what constitutes infrastructures:] Examples of Research Infrastructures range from synchrotrons, telescopes, high power lasers, or high performance computers, to research vessels, bio-banks, brain imaging facilities, clean rooms, data archives, etc.
- [contributions of infrastructures to EU Research:] High quality, internationally open Research Infrastructures are necessary tools to carry out top quality research. They contribute to extending the frontiers of knowledge, supporting industrial innovation, exchanging and transmitting knowledge, and training the next generation of top researchers. Therefore, Research Infrastructures are at the core of the “knowledge triangle”, combining Research, Education and Innovation.