In 2002, the EU Competitiveness Council decided to establish European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) with the aim of defining priorities of implementation of pan-European research infrastructures, bringing together the representatives of the EU Member States, European Commission and countries associated to EU Framework Programmes for Research, Development and Innovation.
The very 1st ESFRI Roadmap was presented in 2006 and its subsequent updates were made in 2008, 2010 and 2016. The ESFRI Roadmap gathers the pan-European research infrastructures of the highest priority, which concepts have already been successfully implemented by their hosting countries (ESFRI landmarks) or are currently under preparation or in their construction phase (ESFRI projects).
In parallel with the ESFRI, an expert forum on e-infrastructures – the e-Infrastructures Reflection Group (e-IRG) – was set up in 2003 in order to deal with the agenda of infrastructures operated in the fields of information and communication technologies.
ERIC – European Research Infrastructure Consortium
At the legal level, an increased focus on the issue of pan-European research infrastructures has led to the creation of the specific EU legal framework defining the principles for management and financing of such research infrastructures. This new type of legal entity – ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) – enables diverse and fully flexible models for the management of pan-European research infrastructures, including the use of tax exemptions on the side of the entities operating these research infrastructures (e.g. value added tax and/or excise duty tax exemptions). Countries and international organisations may become Members of ERIC, as in the case of international organisations established under the public international law. A minimum of 3 participating countries is always requested by the European Commission (Directorate General for Research and Innovation) while establishing an ERIC.
The Czech Republic is currently a Member State of the following ERIC legal entities:
BBMRI ERIC (Bio-banking and Bio-molecular Resources Research Infrastructure)
CERIC ERIC (Central European Research Infrastructure Consortium)
CESSDA ERIC (Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives)
CLARIN ERIC (Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure)
EATRIS ERIC (European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine)
ESS ERIC (European Spallation Source)
ESS Survey ERIC (European Social Survey)
ICOS ERIC (Integrated Carbon Observation System)
INSTRUCT ERIC (European Integrated Structural Biology Infrastructure)
SHARE ERIC (Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe)
In 2017/2018 following ERIC legal entities should be established with the membership of the Czech Republic as a founding Member State:
ELI ERIC (Extreme Light Infrastructure)
EU-OPENSCREEN ERIC (European Infrastructure of Open Screening Platforms for Chemical Biology)