Increased Nordic cooperation on research infrastructure?

The ESFRI roadmap represents a big challenge in terms of priority setting, construction investments and operational costs. Nordic cooperation can help meet these challenges and the value added of such cooperation should be explored further. These were the conclusions from Nordforsk’s 26-27 March ESFRI workshop.
The meeting, held at Voksenåsen Kultur og Konferensehotell in Oslo, brought together key stakeholders from Nordic research councils and academia. It featured a discussion on the ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructure) roadmap which describes Europe’s scientific needs for research infrastructures for the next 10-20 years. The different national strategies in the individual Nordic countries was a central question, i.e. the present and planned funding of national, Nordic and international research infrastructures. The aim was to identify possible areas and initiatives of joint Nordic interest, and as a first step in this direction, a first overview of the most important research infrastructures in a Nordic context was elaborated.

There was agreement that Nordic cooperation could be beneficial in many of the planned ESFRI projects, and that this possibility should be explored further, in the first instance by consulting project participants on the issue. Workshop participants underlined that such an exercise also can function as a preparation for the NordForsk infrastructure call, to be launched in spring 2007. Focusing on joint Nordic use of research infrastructures, the call will support a maximum of 15 projects which may receive up to 1 MNOK each.

ESFRI working groups:
• ESFRI WG Physical Sciences and Engineering – Lars Börjesson
• ESFRI WG Biological and Medical sciences – Taina Pihlajaniemi
• ESFRI WG Social Sciences and Humanities – Bjørn Henrichsen
ESFRI WG Environment – Eeva Ikonen
• E-Infrastructure reflection group – Leif Laaksonen

National infrastructures strategies:
• Sweden – Lars Börjesson
• Finland – Mirja Arajarvi
• Denmark – Hans Müller Pedersen
• Norway – Ole Henrik Ellestad
• Iceland – Edda Lilja Sveinsdottir

Outstanding examples of joint Nordic use of research infrastructure:
• Nordic Optical Telescope – Johannes Andersen
• Nordic eScience Strategy Committee – Juni Palmgren

Minutes of the meeting

Participants list