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:
- Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure (CLARIN)
- Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH)
- Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)
- European Social Survey (ESS)
- Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA)
- European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI)
- Long-Term Ecosystem Research in Europe (eLTER)
- Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure (ACTRIS)
Physics and technology:
- ESRF European Synchrotron Radiation Facility Upgrade
- ILL 20/20 Institut Laue-Langevin Upgrade
- European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT)
- Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA)
Information and communication sciences:
The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) spends about 40 million euros 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 euros) 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 euros of the proportionate annual costs to participate in CERN experiments and has about 600,000 euros 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 euros, including proportionate investment expenses for the new European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).
- About 3 million euros 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 1.9 million euros), the Institut Laue-Langevin high-flux reactor in Grenoble, France (2.5 million euros) 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”).
Austrian ESFRI delegates:
Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research
Department of Basic Research and Research Infrastructures
Minoritenplatz 5, 1010 Vienna
T +43 1 53120 6278
Department of Research Policy for Universities, Universities of Applied Sciences and Private Universities
T +43 1 53120 5638