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The Future European Extremely Large Telescope (Credit: Swinburne Astronomy Productions/ESO)

What makes Research Infrastructures sustainable in the long term?

A new EIROforum discussion paper tackles the issues of long-term sustainability of Research Infrastructures (RIs), which was launched in the European arena in 2014. The paper should be considered as a contribution to this discussion led by the European Commission, and involving other stakeholders.

Having long-standing experience in managing large-scale European RIs, EIROforum wishes to contribute to this discussion. The paper does not aim at being exhaustive but emphasises the main elements that EIROforum believes constitute and define the long-term sustainability of RIs which have a European dimension and involve the joint effort of a number of member states.

Criteria for long-term sustainability

In this respect, EIROforum has indentified five main criteria that enable RIs to be sustainable in the long term and can provide guidance for additional funding commitments, namely:

  1. Relevance of an RI to its scientific community and the ability to generate scientific excellence;
  2. Sustainable governance model and legal framework;
  3. Sustainable funding model;
  4. Ability to attract scientific talent and build a critical mass of scientific expertise; and
  5. Socio-economic impact.

EIROforum remains available to explain its position in more detail, if required, in dedicated follow-up meetings.

Read the full paper:

EIROforum Discussion Paper: What makes Research Infrastructures sustainable in the long term?