Research infrastructures (including e-infrastructures) are part of the Excellent Science pillar within Horizon 2020. They will develop European research infrastructure for 2020 and beyond, foster their innovation potential and human capital, and complement this with the related EU policy and international cooperation.
The aim is that Horizon 2020 will endow Europe with world-class research infrastructures that are accessible to all researchers in Europe and fully exploit their potential for scientific advancement and innovation.
Three types of activity will be supported to enable excellent science in Europe:
- The first activities are targeted to the development of new world-class research infrastructures. Support will be provided for the implementation and operation of the research infrastructures listed on the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) roadmap. Support will cover the preparatory phase of new ESFRI projects, and the implementation and the operation phases of prioritised ESFRI projects. Further world-class facilities will also be part of this action.
- The second set of activities aims at optimising the use of the national facilities by integrating them into networks and opening their doors to all European researchers. This is a continuity of the Integrating Activities under the 7th Framework Programme.
- The third action will support further deployment and development of ICT based e-infrastructures which are essential to enable access to distant resources, remote collaboration, and massive data processing in all scientific fields.
Research infrastructures are very often incubators of innovative technologies. EU support will encourage them to stimulate innovation both in the infrastructures themselves and in their supplier and user industries.
The aims are to exploit synergies between national and EU initiatives by setting up partnerships between relevant policymakers and funding bodies or advisory groups such as ESFRI, e-Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG) and EIROforum organisations. This action will also facilitate the development of global research infrastructures and the cooperation of European infrastructures with their non-European counterparts, ensuring their global interoperability and access.
The total budget for this activity in Horizon 2020 is nearly €2.5bn.