About European Research Infrastructures

What is a Research Infrastructure?

A research infrastructure is an organization that enables the research community to use specific facilities, resources and services in order to accelerate scientific achievements and promote sustainable research.

Distributed research infrastructure

A distributed research infrastructure is an organization that enables the research community to use specific facilities, resources and services that are geographically scattered.

Single-sited research infrastructure

A single-sited research infrastructure is an organization that enables the research community to use specific facilities, services and resources that are geographically localized in a single site (or a few complementary sites), even though its governance may include several countries.

Virtual infrastructure

A virtual infrastructure is an organization that works as an e-infrastructure, providing electronic services, networks, archives, databases and databanks.

Making Science Happen

To put science at the heart of societal and economic development, we need to devise strategies to push the limits of science in order to promote innovation, tackle societal challenges and deliver big results. In Europe, one such strategy is the development of research infrastructures - organizations that enable the research community to use specific facilities, resources and services, thus fostering collaboration between scientists from different countries, economic sectors, research fields, and institutions.

Why do we Need European Research Infrastructures?

Research infrastructures are an elegant solution to make science more effective and sustainable in the complex European backdrop of interactions among nation states. They enable an organized, fair and transparent system to share knowledge and resources, and in doing so, they contribute to the pooling of data, facilities and equipment, thereby avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort. By making high-quality facilities, resources and services available to everyone, research infrastructures ensure that science is driven by excellence and not by the research capacity of individual countries, economic sectors, or institutions. They also ensure that this excellence is aimed at solving bottlenecks, pushing forward the frontiers of scientific disciplines, and enabling transformative technological development.

Crossing Borders

With the goal of elevating science across the globe, European research infrastructures include members and partners from other countries and regions and span over different research fields, including Biological and Medical Sciences, Material Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities, Environmental Sciences, Energy and Astronomy. They are strongly supported by the European Commission, which has set up the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), a strategic instrument to steer policy-making and facilitate the better use and development of research infrastructures.

Find out more

More information about European Research Infrastructures is available from the European Commission at https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/strategy/european-research-infrastructures_en and via the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures https://www.esfri.eu/.

RI-VIS Research Infrastructure Service Portal

RI-VIS has collated information on the services available from European Research Infrastructures included in the 2018 ESFRI roadmap or RI thematic clusters which is available at https://ri-vis.eu/network/rivis/portal