The second volume of the ESFRI Scripta series is dedicated to the outcomes of the ad hoc Working (WG) Group on Long-Term Sustainability (LTS) of Research Infrastructures (RIs).
The LTS WG was created by ESFRI in 2016 to comprehensively respond to the Conclusions of the Competitiveness Council of the European Union of 27th May 2016 that "underlines the importance of ensuring Long-Term Sustainability of Research Infrastructures and invites the Commission to prepare together with ESFRI and relevant stakeholders a targeted action plan".
ESFRI has previously developed its concept of lifecycle of the Research Infrastructures in the framework of the Roadmap evaluation exercise, and at all stages of the lifecycle different aspects of sustainability were identified. The LTS WG has analysed the Long-Term Sustainability of Research Infrastructures from a broad perspective taking the ESFRI viewpoint well beyond the mere economical analysis. Scientific excellence is the condition sine qua non for sustainability throughout the entire RI lifecycle, and its persistence is crucial in the long-term operational phase. Excellence in science and outstanding quality services to the users are imperative for the successful performance of each Research Infrastructure, and they are addressed in the monitoring and reviewing processes by ESFRI.
The report proposes 7 main recommendations covering the key aspects of Long-Term Sustainability of Research Infrastructures. These recommendations are expanded into 35 specific points ranging over securing highly qualified and motivated human resources, realizing a robust transfer of information to society from the Research Infrastructure via a quality-controlled e-Infrastructure, building an effective interface between RIs and innovation activities, understanding the actual value of the diverse benefits to society, addressing the optimal governance and management structure and promoting coordination among RIs.
This volume of ESFRI Scripta contains the full LTS WG report as approved by the ESFRI Forum in June 2017 and then shared with the European Commission to jointly address, with a multifaceted but overall consistent analysis, the mandate of the Competitiveness Council on Long-Term Sustainability of RIs.
It represents an advanced expert analysis of substantial value on the sustainability issues connected with the large investments associated with Research Infrastructures, but does not represent in any way commitments of the ESFRI Member States and Associated Countries at political or economical level.
The report is available for download.