Call for additional €4B investment in European research infrastructures


As ESFRI sets down plan for the single most expensive project to date, the Commission and member states say there should be moves to strengthen the interplay between EU, national and regional funding for these shared science facilities.

Europe needs to build eleven new international research labs at a cost of €4.16 billion, according to the latest roadmap from the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), published today, as the European Commission called for a review of funding sources for the shared facilities.

The 11 research infrastructures listed in the roadmap would cost €380 million on average, a steep increase from previous plans. The average cost of a new lab in the 2018 roadmap was €112 million, while in 2016 it was €148 million. The most expensive labs proposed in the ESFRI paper are the Einstein Telescope, which has a price tag of €1.9 billion, and EuPRAXIA, a €569 million plasma accelerator coordinated by the DESY synchrotron in Hamburg.

As the representative of Europe’s large research labs, ESFRI periodically publishes a roadmap setting out what new, shared facilities are required to stay at the leading edge of science. Over the past 20 years, the EU has invested €20 billion in research infrastructures pitched in these roadmaps. If the 11 labs proposed in the latest document were to be built, that will rise to €24 billion.

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