The ESFRI 20th Anniversary Conference

On 25 March 2022 under the French Presidency of the Council of the EU the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) 20th anniversary conference was held in Paris. With the participation of representatives of the European Commission, European research infrastructures, national stakeholders and other experts, the conference emphasized the unique role of ESFRI in strengthening European excellence in research and innovation. On behalf of the Czech Republic, in addition to the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Petr Gazdík, who congratulated ESFRI on its achievements in shaping the European Research Area during his speech at the end of the conference, took part a former ESFRI Chair and current Czech delegate Jan Hrušák, senior researcher at the J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry of the CAS, and at the same time a special envoy for research infrastructures at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. Jan Hrušák moderated the first panel, which dealt with the past and future of ESFRI. “The progress of a healthy interconnected ecosystem of research infrastructures we see as our contribution to the European Research Area development and broader context to the sustainable growth of our economies.” clarified Jan Hrušák.

There were also on the agenda sessions presenting some of the outputs of fundamental and applied science achieved through European research infrastructures, and the impact of research infrastructures on society in connection with the current societal challenges.

During the final part of the conference, Jean-Eric Paquet, Director General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, also ceremoniously presented plaques to the newly established European Research Infrastructures consortia ELI ERIC (Extreme Light Infrastructure ERIC), which has a seat in the Czech Republic, AnaEE ERIC (Infrastructure for Analysis and Experimentation on Ecosystems ERIC) and Euro-BioImaging ERIC (European Research Infrastructure for Imaging Technologies in Biological and Biomedical Sciences ERIC), in which the Czech Republic participates as a founding member state.

European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI)

ESFRI was set up in 2002 by a decision of the EU Council in the configuration of the Ministers responsible for the research agenda. ESFRI is a platform for delegates from the EU Member States and Associated Countries to the Framework Program and, with the participation of representatives of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD), conducts strategic debates on the latest research infrastructures policy issues of European character, relevance and impact. Since 2006, ESFRI has been developing and publishing the ESFRI Roadmap, covering European research infrastructure projects that have been identified as a priority for the development of the European Research Area. The latest update of the ESFRI Roadmap from 2021, published during Jan Hrušák’s ESFRI chairmanship, brings together total of 63 European research infrastructures, of which 41 fall into the category of ESFRI Landmarks (i.e. successfully implemented Projects), and 22 into the category of ESFRI Projects (i.e. brand new research infrastructure projects).

konference esfri