Vienna, 12th–14th September 2018 – The Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union hosted the 4th International Conference for Research Infrastructures (hereinafter referred to as the “ICRI 2018”). The ICRI 2018 was co-organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and the Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission. The conference took place in the former imperial residence Hofburg and provided a high-level forum for a strategic debate on cooperation of research infrastructures at global level for stakeholders from more than 50 countries from all over the world.
The ICRI 2018 was held as a 4-day conference and focused on a broad range of topics related to various research infrastructures´ policy-making areas. The key themes of ICRI 2018 programme were research infrastructures´ development in the next 30 years, international cooperation and internationalisation of nationally-based research infrastructures, research infrastructures´ human resources development and socio-economic impact of research infrastructures, including monitoring and communication of research infrastructures´ value to both expert and lay society.
The internationalisation conference session was focused, in particular, on challenges related to trans-national access to research infrastructures and sharing of research infrastructures´ capacities at the international level, including fostering synergies in order to avoid duplication of facilities and services provided to user communities. The conference session devoted to human resources topics put main emphasis on research infrastructures´ management careers´ development and enhancement of skills and capabilities of research infrastructures´ operators, e.g. via international mobility. Another of the ICRI 2018 sessions provided a platform for debating socio-economic impact of research infrastructures, including models for its assessment. At the same time, the attention was paid to the increasing socio-economic value of research infrastructures, communication of research infrastructures´ importance to the public and enhancing involvement of citizens in research infrastructures´ policy-making processes. Among other topics, the ICRI 2018 facilitated also a debate on e-infrastructures from the point of view of their importance for digitisation and cybernetics and big data related issues.
The ICRI 2018 was organised as the 4th edition of a worldwide conference for research infrastructures and focused on a number of emerging policy-making challenges thereof. All the detailed information on the conference scope, organisation committees or conference sessions´ programmes may be found on the dedicated ICRI 2018 website https://www.icri2018.at/.