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European and international research infrastructures

The Directorate-General for Research at the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) represents Austria on European and international bodies on the subject of research infrastructures. This participation in large-scale European and international research institutions or research networks enables the Austria research community to access research opportunities and new knowledge.

Shaping infrastructures strategically – European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI)

ESFRI was founded in 2002 for the purpose of further developing large-scale research facilities and research infrastructure networks in Europe in a strategy-driven and jointly coordinated process. ESFRI consists of delegates from the EU Member States and states associated with the EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development along with a representative from the European Commission.
The creation of the ESFRI Roadmap is a milestone of ESFRI. It lists the European research infrastructures to be jointly set up as well as projects of ESFRI already in the implementation phase (referred to as ESFRI Landmarks).

The ESFRI Roadmap is updated about every two years in an iterative process. The ESFRI Roadmap currently contains 18 ESFRI Projects and 37 ESFRI Landmarks from all scientific fields (as of 2018).
In collaboration with the European Commission, ESFRI developed a sustainable legal entity to establish European research infrastructures. These legal  are designated European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERIC) and were given permanent institutional status at the request of and through a decision of the European Commission.
Austria is currently involved in 15 ESFRI Projects/Landmarks.

Biosciences and medical research:

Humanities, social sciences and cultural sciences:

Environmental sciences:

Physics and technology:

Information and communication sciences:

The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) spends about €40 million a year on its membership of international and European research infrastructures and institutions. Here are some examples:

  • The membership fee for the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) accounts for more than half of this figure (about €21.6 million) and funds research on the fundamental structure of matter and its elementary particles (including administrative costs, salaries and pensions for CERN employees). The BMBWF also shares about €500,000 of the proportionate annual costs to participate in CERN experiments and has about €600,000 in annual outlays for CERN scholarships.
  • Membership in the European Southern Observatory (ESO) with administrative headquarters in Germany and observatories in Chile (proportionate costs: about €6 million, including proportionate investment expenses for the new European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).
  • About Euro 3 million are budgeted for memberships of the European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) located in Heidelberg, Germany.
  • Other large-scale research institutions in the Directorate-General for Research’s portfolio of international scientific collaborations include the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF, about €uro 1.9 million), the Institut Laue-Langevin high-flux reactor in Grenoble, France (Euro 2.5 million) and the Italian synchrotron research centre ELETTRA.
  • The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg near Vienna is an international research facility engaged in interdisciplinary scientific studies. The latter delve into global change involving, inter alia, energy, ecology, transitioning to new technologies and demographics and into the impact these changes have on human beings.
  • The BMBWF also finances, among other things, membership of organisations and networks such as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and GRID, in essence the successor technology to the Internet for networking data-storage and data-processing capacities (“your supercomputer from a wall socket”).

Contact:

Austrian ESFRI delegates:
Daniel Weselka
Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research
Department of Basic Research and Research Infrastructures
Minoritenplatz 5
1010 Vienna
T +43 1 53120 6278
daniel.weselka@bmbwf.gv.at

Karoline Begusch-Pfefferkorn
Department of Research Policy for Universities, Universities of Applied Sciences and Private Universities
T +43 1 53120 5638
karolina.begusch-pfefferkorn@bmbwf.gv.at

Links: