About infrastructure

Research infrastructures (RIs)

Direction: Excellent Science

Research infrastructures are facilities that provide resources and services for the research communities to conduct research and foster innovation in their fields.


Detailed information

NCP Research Infrastructures

The national contact point of the European Union Framework Program for Research and Innovation "Horizon Europe" ("Horizon Europe Program"), which provides informational and methodological support for the relevant …

Research infrastructures include:

  • major equipment or sets of instruments;
  • knowledge-related facilities such as collections
  • archives or scientific data infrastructures;
  • computing systems;
  • communication networks.

Horizon Europe will endow Europe with world-class sustainable research infrastructures which are open and accessible to the best researchers from Europe and beyond. It will also encourage the use of existing research infrastructures, including those financed from funds under the EU's Cohesion Policy.

Areas of intervention:

  • consolidating and developing the landscape of European research infrastructures;
  • opening, integrating and interconnecting research infrastructures;
  • reinforcing European research infrastructure policy and international cooperation;
  • consolidating and developing the innovation potential of European research infrastructures and activities for innovation and training.

Research Infrastructures will also contribute to achieving the 4 key strategic orientations of the Horizon Europe strategic plan.

Research Infrastructures policy

Access to European Research Infrastructures

Funding opportunities under Horizon Europe are set out in multiannual work programmes, which cover the large majority of support available.

Work Programme 2021-2022 3. Research Infrastructures

Work Programme 2023-2024 3. Research Infrastructures

All funding information and details on how to apply are on the Funding and Tenders portal.

European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI)

Tthe ESFRI develops a strategic roadmap identifying investment priorities in European Research Infrastructures for the next 10-20 years.

European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC)

A specific legal form that facilitates the establishment and operation of Research Infrastructures.

Group ofSeniorOfficials (GSO)

Global group of experts that takes stock of the existing situation of global Research Infrastructures and explores new collaboration opportunities.

European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)

Cloud database for research in Europe.


Collaboration agreement to combine resources, facilities and expertise of its member organisations to support European science

Association of European-Level Research InfrastructuresFacilities (ERF-AISBL)

A not-for-profit association promoting the development and visibility of European infrastructures providing access to external users.
The ERF members are open at an international level and include national infrastructures as well as European networks and consortia of research infrastructures. Every year the ERF member organisations serve over 20,000 academic and industrial users from Europe and overseas.

OECD Global Science Forum (GSF)

The Commission is part of 2 working groups:

  • GSF working group on Research Infrastructure sustainability - to ensure coherence and complementarity with the long term sustainability effort conducted at European level;
  • GSF working group on the socio-economic impact of Research Infrastructures which aims to reach an understanding at international level of the principles and processes to be followed when addressing the socioeconomic impact of any Research Infrastructure.

Long termsustainabilityof Research Infrastructures

The Commission supports setting-up long term sustainable infrastructures and has identified issues and measures in consultations, working documents and workshops to achieve this goal.

Transnational access to European Research Infrastructures:

European Research Infrastructures providing free transnational access

The Research Infrastructure landscape is a full list (including those not offering free access) of Horizon 2020 Research Infrastructures in Europe arranged by theme. It is regularly updated.

RICH 2020 is a European network of National Contact Points for Research Infrastructures in Horizon 2020, facilitates transnational and virtual access to Research Infrastructures.

The charter for access:

The charter for access sets out principles and guidelines as a reference when defining access policies for Research Infrastructures.

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