Over the last decade, the topic “research infrastructure/s” (RI) gained importance in the Danube macro-region – at European level the increasing policy importance becomes evident through strategic actions such as tax exemptions for RIs in the ERICs.
Also the cross-European coordination with ESFRI and its roadmaps (most recently in 2018) has changed the “game” substantially. Still, core challenges include not only (1) financing but concern (2) access policies and models, (3) the role of RIs for competitiveness, (4) the adaptation of RI funding in national and regional funding measures and (5) the role of universities and better internal coordination of activities beyond higher education tasks.
Considering the funding challenge, current development influences also the universities on their way to establish better internal coordination of investments in activities beyond education tasks.
Especially in the Danube macro-region and referring to macro-regional challenges, human resources, furthermore, discussions on new thematic directions of RIs or on the diversity in networked RIs request a well-adjusted approach and strategy. ResInfra@DR met listed challenges by (1) the provision of dialogue with stakeholders on all levels, (2) a specific capacity building and (3) dedicated pilot activities providing practical support to organisations mainly beyond the partnership. Our proposal for a Joint Action Plan addresses the EUSDR Priority Area 7 and the Working Group on Research Infrastructure bringing specific topics into focus based on the continous need for support over the next years.
In 2015 a core group of enthusiasts from agencies, ministries and research organisations in the Danube macro-region have developed the idea for ResInfra@DR. Following this vision, our partnership included main actors contributing to strategic decisions in the context of research infrastructures. ResInfra@DR project activities in nine partner countries invited a wide range of stakeholders for mutual learning actions and the co-development of a set of guidance documents according to specific needs, furthermore, a successful training series, which contributed to needs based capacity building and training materials.
After 30 months, this final issue of our newsletter provides an insight into major project outcomes and (final) activities. While the project has formally closed on June 30 2019, our website will be retained as a source of information about the project and as a site to connect those interested in maintaining a connection to the ResInfra@DR network.
We like to thank our readers for being part of the ResInfra@DR story and very much look forward to further encounters with you!
The ResInfra@DR project team
Read more in the final project newsletter - available here...
Image source: Pixabay, thedanube by henryleester