The ICRI 2021 conference was held virtually on 1st – 3rd June

On 1st – 3rd June 2021, ICRI 2021 (International Conference on Research Infrastructures) was held. The conference was originally scheduled to take place physically in Ottawa, Canada, but due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and related epidemiological measures and restrictions, it was decided to move the event to a virtual arena. The main organiser of ICRI 2021 was the Canada Foundation for Innovation in a close cooperation with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, which also provided funding from the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020. ICRI is a global conference participated by research infrastructure policy-makers, operators and users from Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Australia. Hundreds of stakeholders from all around the world thus had the opportunity to address emerging topics of research infrastructure policy-making.

Jan Hrušák, ESFRI Chair

Research infrastructures and grand societal challenges

ICRI is a platform to debate the most up-to-date research infrastructure policy-making issues. ICRI 2021 built on the previous editions of ICRI held in Copenhagen (2012), Athens (2014), Cape Town (2016) and Vienna (2018). ICRI conferences usually focus on topics such as the long-term sustainable development of the research infrastructure ecosystem, international cooperation of research infrastructures or their socioeconomic benefits and impacts. This year’s ICRI wasn’t an exception, and in addition to the above-mentioned areas, ICRI 2021 also aimed on the themes of data infrastructures and sharing of scientific data, management of international research infrastructures and the role of research infrastructures in strengthening the preparedness and resilience of the population to any future crisis scenarios requiring knowledge- and technology-based solutions.

“The ESFRI White Paper ʻMaking Science Happenʼ contains the strategic vision by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures on the future of research infrastructures as one of the pillars of the renewed European Research Area. The main message conveyed is that a healthy, sustainable, through data interconnected and interoperable research infrastructure ecosystem, which strives for scientific excellence with impact, is a prerequisite for sustainable economic growth and societal welfare,” stated Jan Hrušák, Chair of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) – representing the J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences – when commenting on the European perspective on the research infrastructure agenda development. Other speakers also confirmed the utmost importance of research infrastructures as a knowledge basis for addressing the present and future grand societal challenges.

ESFRI White Paper 2020: Making Science Happen

The Czech Republic to organise ICRI 2022 in Brno

The forthcoming ICRI edition will take place on 19th – 21st October 2022 in Brno, Czech Republic. The conference will be held under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, as political organisers, and the Masaryk University and the Central European Institute of Technology in Brno, as local organisers. “The City of Brno is not only a pleasant place to visit, but it is also the seat of a number of the Czech national nodes to international research infrastructures. Owing to the investments by the European Structural and Investment Funds, Brno has become an emerging research and innovation hub in Central Europe,” said Pavel Doleček, Deputy Minister for Higher Education, Science and Research at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, when inviting to participate in the ICRI 2022 conference.

Video-invitation for the ICRI 2022 conference