National Information Centre for European Research

Research infrastructures, their definition and support characteristics in HE

Research infrastructures, together with educated researchers and well-managed research entities, are the backbone of Europe's R&D system.


The most broadly respected definition of research infrastructure on which their support is based is the one contained in Commission Regulation(EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty.  According to this Regulation, "research infrastructure" means facilities, resources and related services that are used by the scientific community to conduct research in their respective fields and covers scientific equipment or sets of instruments, knowledge-based resources such as collections, archives or structured scientific information, enabling information and communication technology-based infrastructures such as grid, computing, software and communication, or any other entity of a unique nature essential to conduct research. Such infrastructures may be ‘single-sited’ or ‘distributed’ (an organised network of resources) in accordance with Article 2(a) of Council Regulation (EC) No 723/2009 of 25 June 2009 on the Community legal framework for a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC).


The focus of the research infrastructures priority is influenced by the priorities of the European Commission for the coming period, especially the green and digital transformation of society and strengthening the resilience of society in terms of health and democracy.

Specifically, the HE program will focus on 5 areas of support for research infrastructures, namely so EU would have:

1. a coherent and efficiently functioning landscape of research infrastructures,

2. an operational, open and FAIR EOSC (European Open Science Cloud) ecosystem for data storage, sharing and reuse has been completed,

3. research infrastructures providing services supporting health research, services that applaud the green digital transformation and advancing the boundaries of our knowledge,

4. a next generation of scientific instruments, tools and methods and advanced digital solutions available,

5. The EU has been networked both between its Member States and with other continents.


Research infrastructures should also be applied to the challenges in Clusters of HE programme Pillar II.  



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