Research infrastructures (RI) are one of the key elements for the development and improvement of knowledge and technology. Long term sustainability has been repeatedly highlighted as the main challenge for European RI.
Given these premises, in December 2015, the European Commission launched an online consultation targeting RI stakeholders with the aim of collecting their views on the interrelated pre-conditions that could ensure the long term sustainability of RI and the potential actions/measures to tackle the challenges posed by their implementation.
The communities targeted by the consultation were European Research Area (ERA) stakeholders, European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) projects, European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERIC), ESFRI delegations, members of the Programme Committee for the Research Infrastructures part of Horizon 2020, e-Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG) delegations, EIROforum, International Organisations, Research Infrastructure associations, National Contact Points (NCP), and science attachés from strategic third country partners.
The results of the consultation are presented in the "Report on the Consultation on Long Term Sustainability of Research Infrastructures" and highlight the need to strengthen the involvement of industry to develop credible business models as well as efficient governance models to develop research infrastructures. It is also necessary to look into the different existing funding schemes both to ensure appropriate synergies and to explore possible new solutions.