Universities of Science and Technology (S&T) such as our Members play diverse and multiple roles in the European and global infrastructure landscape and our association has published a white paper ´Universities of Science and Technology (S&T) as engines of excellence, talent and innovation´ to promote the understanding of the crucial roles of universities of S&T in infrastructures for research, education, innovation and services to society.
The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) plays a key role in policy-making on research infrastructures in Europe. It is composed of national delegates nominated by research ministers of the EU member states and countries associated with Horizon Europe, and also includes a European Commission representative. ESFRI is a self-regulated body, operating on a consensus basis and typically meets four times a year.
The ESFRI Stakeholder Forum is a newly established platform, developed by ESFRI with the ambition to facilitate an open dialogue among the different European research infrastructure stakeholders, in order to reinforce the position of research infrastructures as an essential pillar of the European Research Area (ERA). This concept was presented in the ESFRI White Paper adopted in 2020.
In line with the strong commitment and dedication from our Members and our association to improve the management and operation of (university-related) infrastructures, our Board has appointed Katharina Eggenberger (Senior Policy Advisor and Research Manager at ETH Zurich) as our association’s Envoy to represent our association in the ESFRI Stakeholder Forum. Katharina has extensive knowledge of research infrastructures from the perspective of a government and university and is also strongly involved in the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and the EOSC Association.
Highlighting that universities of S&T engage infrastructures to cover their entire missions - i.e. research, education, innovation and services to society - we are dedicated to help (i) strengthen sustainability, accessibility and resilience of such infrastructures in the European Research Area (ERA) (see also ERA Action 8), (ii) implement and govern the EOSC and (iii) clarify issues around technological infrastructures.
We warmly thank Katharina and ETH Zurich for their willingness to represent our association in the ESFRI Stakeholder Forum which testifies again the outstanding contributions of ETH Zurich to the European and global S&T cooperation since its establishment in 1855 and of the broader Swiss S&T communities to research infrastructures and the development of the ERA since the Second World War. We reiterate our strong support to the ‘Stick to Science’ initiative which calls on the EU institutions and the British and Swiss governments to place science collaboration before politics by finalising UK and Swiss inclusion in the world-leading ‘Horizon Europe’ research and innovation programme.