The V4 Conference 2024 explored cutting-edge research infrastructures

Experts, policymakers, and stakeholders from the Visegrád Group (V4) countries – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia – convened in Brussels on April 18th 2024 to explore the pivotal role of research infrastructures (RIs) in advancing scientific frontiers. Organized by V4 R&I support offices in Brussels (CZELO, SLORD, PolSCA, NRDIO), the conference provided a platform for discussing the future trajectory of RIs and their financing mechanisms.

José Luis Martínez, Chair of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), outlined in keynote speech the main findings from the report on Financing RIs. He emphasized the need for synergy among funding sources at regional, national, and EU levels to ensure the availability of relevant RIs for European scientists.

José Luis Martínez – Chair of ESFRI

ELI Beamlines’ Global Impact

He was followed by Allan Weeks, Director General of the ELI Delivery Consortium, who showcased the global significance of ELI Beamlines, a cutting-edge laser facility exploring the unprecedented intensities of light-matter interaction. ELI ERIC, established in April 2021, is made up from staff located in Hungary and Czech Republic of which there are total 627 with 47 nationalities. Weeks invited scientists worldwide to utilize the facility, highlighting its role in pushing scientific boundaries.

Luboš Halada from the Slovak Academy of Sciences discussed Slovakia’s involvement in the eLTER research infrastructure. Martin Šponiar, representing the Ministry of Education, Research, Development, and Youth of the Slovak Republic, emphasized Slovakia’s support for existing infrastructures. The Polish representative introduced Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center.

Advancing Open Science and FAIR Data

Ute Gunsenheimer, Secretary General of the EOSC Association, elaborated on the future of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) initiative. She emphasized the Tripartite Collaboration and the evolution of EOSC nodes towards the creation of the EOSC Federation, aiming to enhance the production of FAIR research output.

Debating Future Trajectories

The afternoon session featured speakers from Ministries, Permanent Representations of V4 countries, and a representative from the European Commission. This session focused on the future trajectory of research infrastructures as well as on the future financial and legislative goals with a lively debate on potential enhancements for FP10.