ENRIITC makes recommendations for Research Infrastructures on how to improve industry engagement

While scientific excellence is the key justification and raison d’être for a Research Infrastructure, any RI under development will have to ask the question: “How do we engage with industry?”

Actually, both companies and the RIs themselves can potentially benefit from the interaction. And adopting a strategic and selectively focused effort would be beneficial for all RIs. During the last 2 years, ENRIITC has engaged the community of RIs and other stakeholders in order to map out and explore best practices and discuss different strategies. The resulting recommendations are published in the Deliverables:

The potential for industry engagement cover both possibilities within industrial supplies to RIs, industrial usage of the RIs facilities and knowledge, co-development, innovation activities, joint advocacy, and more.

The report underlines the importance of having “multipliers”: ILOs acting as intermediaries between national companies and RIs are important especially for the RI to reach out to supplier industry and for co-development. Inside the RIs, the function of ICO is a key role in many of the proposed strategic recommendations.

We arrive at 17 recommendations shown in the Figure and organised into four themes which cover both the internal organisation and priorities within the RI, and strategies and tools for engaging with companies and ecosystems surrounding the RI:

  1. Develop a strategy for innovation with industry: measures concerning the RI internal structure and prioritisation of resources;
  2. Engaging the innovation ecosystem: important points regarding the interaction with stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem surrounding the RI;
  3. Industry collaboration models: options and perspectives on how to set up collaboration;
  4. Funding structures for increased industry collaboration: strategies for pursuing supplementary funding for innovation activities in collaboration with companies.

While there is no “one-size fits all” strategy for the RI engagement with industry, the proposed strategic actions should be evaluated critically by the owners and management of the RI with respect to what is strategically relevant in the specific context of the particular RI.


Training Strategy for Innovation Brokers

Opening new markets for the industry is a challenge for innovation support systems and requires specific skills and knowledge. Effective structure of international trainings for innovation brokers should be built to ensure a flow of innovation from research infrastructures to industry.

Companies need support in contacting the science sector and the potential of European research infrastructures should be better exploited by the industry: it’s necessary to build a training system for Industry Liaison Officers (ILOs) and Industry Contact Officers (ICOs) in order to provide them with high-quality training and knowledge. Receiving support from both a national and international level would open an opportunity to smooth the flow of information between business and science, therefore increasing European companies’ innovation potential.

ENRIITC supports the establishment of strategic, cross-border partnerships between industry and research infrastructures and, under the project, the following were put in place:

  1. An analysis of the current status of training opportunities and requirements for improved training, with primary information compiled from the ILO/ICO network;
  2. The designing of a catalogue of hard and soft skills to be developed;
  3. Recommendations provided for developing a pan-European network of innovation brokers.

The role of the pan-European network of innovation brokers is to:

  • Build relationships between people;
  • Exchange knowledge between RIs and the industry;
  • Organise webinars, industry events and B2B meetings with RIs and the industry;
  • Build international consortia with companies from different European countries;
  • Engage small and medium size enterprises in the Big Science projects.


The most important training courses for ILOs are the following (ranked by level of importance):

  1. Procurement and tenders
  2. Promotion of tenders and technologies from the RI
  3. Organisation of brokerage events
  4. Communication (not specific for promotion of tenders and technologies)
  5. Obtaining funding
  6. Aspects of intellectual property rights
  7. Creation of an offer for industry

The most requested training courses for ICOs are the following (ranked by level of importance):

  1. Obtaining funding
  2. Selected aspects of international collaboration
  3. Aspects of intellectual property rights
  4. Developing soft skills – negotiations, presentation of the offer

Both groups indicated that they would like to receive training in the area of technology transfer.

You can learn more and check the ENRITC Deliverable 3.3 here.

CLARIN ERIC is looking for a Head of Operations!

Our Associate CLARIN ERIC is looking for a ‘Head of Operations’  who will work closely with the CLARIN Board of Directors and the staff at the central CLARIN Office.

The main tasks for which the Head of Operations will be responsible are: overseeing the implementation of strategic decisions taken by the Board of Directors in close coordination with the Executive Director and coordinating the central CLARIN Office workflows and their alignment with the CLARIN network and the wider infrastructural ecosystem.

The Head of Operations will be based at the CLARIN Office in Utrecht (The Netherlands). Some travelling throughout Europe will also be part of the work.  Application open until 1st June 2022!

Learn more here.

How to scale-up the societal impact of Research Infrastructures by integrating with innovation ecosystems.

It is important for a Research Infrastructure to recognize other stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem surrounding them and understand which role to embrace.

This was one of the main messages from the strategic work represented in the ENRIITC deliverable 3.2 and shown in the second column in the Figure below.

In several cases, research infrastructures – in particular large-scale facilities – are found as core elements of research and innovation campuses. These campuses may integrate the RIs together with universities, RTOs and industry, both large enterprises and small start-up / incubation environments.

Examples of these campuses include the Grenoble Innovation Campus “GIANT” (including the international facilities European Synchrotron Radiation Facility and Institute Laue-Langevin) and the Harwell campus near to Oxford (including the national facilities Diamond Light Source and ISIS).

The potential local or regional collaborators may belong to different categories that are listed below:


Most companies are part of local network or organisation of companies who often act as intermediaries in the contact with companies, especially for SMEs. Engagement with industry clusters may be mutually beneficial since the RI can offer new solutions for their members, while the clusters can help tune the offer to better match the needs of their members.


Europe has a wide web of ca. 350 Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) that operate in the space between the academic world and companies. These include, e.g., Fraunhofer (DE), TNO (NL) and VTT (FIN). A company with a need for an analysis, measurement or knowledge will often start by consulting a local RTO. For this reason, the RTOs may represent an interesting multiplier function where an RI can, in fact, access several companies via the RTO either by referral or by the RTO using the RI to offer services to companies.


Most RIs have a strong relation with researchers at universities using the RI for their scientific investigations. This relation can be used to strengthen the RI-industry collaboration. The RI can engage the researchers to establish who is working with companies and use the relation to gain insight into the industrial value and depth of the collaboration. Universities also play an important role in the training of students to prepare them for a job in industry.


Industrial Liaison Officers (ILOs) are appointed to represent the companies in a member country’s that supply components and services to an RI. This system intrinsically gives the RI a potential for a quite unique outreach channel to industry in all the member countries which could solve the challenge that many of the companies with which an RI is interacting, are local or in the same country as the central hub of the RI. ENRIITC recommends that each member state consider the potential benefits of an extended mandate of the ILOs to include industrial suppliers, co-development, technology transfer and even industrial usage of the RI.


You can learn more and check the ENRITC Deliverable 3.2 here.

Institut Pasteur: 2 project managers wanted to work in EU funded projects in Paris!

The Institut Pasteur is a private, non-profit foundation. Its mission is to help prevent and treat diseases, mainly those of infectious origin, through research, teaching, and public health initiatives.

The Institut Pasteur develops many major international projects in partnership with the main international scientific authorities such as the World Health Organization, and many research institutions, foundations, universities and other private actors worldwide.

Currently, the Institut grants office is recruiting 2 project managers to work in 2 EU funded projects in Paris! More details can be found here below:

  • Manager European project – R2D2-MH

Job posting description: Recrutement_GrantsOffice_InstitutPasteur_R2D2

Contact person: Nazaré  GUIMARDnazare.guimard@pasteur.fr

  • Manager European project – PvSTATEM

Job posting description: Recrutement_GrantsOffice_InstitutPasteur_PvSTATEM

Contact person: Soizic  SERGEANT, soizic.sergeant@pasteur.fr


How basic and big science may be a seed for future needs

IndTech 2022 took place in Grenoble, France, from Monday 27th to Wednesday 29th June 2022.

The conference organised under the auspices of the French presidency of the European Union and with the support of the European Commission, had as main aim to provide a forum for exchange between industry, research and policy makers, with the objective of forging a common vision for Europe moving forward in the context of transitional challenges.

Of course, this event couldn’t be a better opportunity for ENRIITC! During the afternoon of Monday 27th June, in association with IndTech, we brought together RI representatives, industry and stakeholders from the innovation ecosystem to exchange on the topic of basic and big science can be a seed for future needs.

All the presentations from our speakers are now available!



IndTech 2022 – Conference on Industrial Technologies

The European Industry is currently facing growing number of challenges and the status quo is not acceptable as a sustainable solution. The two main trends of Green and Digital transformation is a strategic call for action for all individual companies, but more and more also between them.

IndTech 2022 is organised under the auspices of the French presidency of the European Union and with the support of the European Commission. The conference provides a forum for exchange between industry, research and policy makers with the objective of forging a common vision for Europe moving forward in the context of transitional challenges.

It will take place in Grenoble, France from June 27-29, 2022.

Read more here!

EMSO ERIC 1st Call for Physical Access is now open!

EMSO ERIC 1st Call for Physical Access is now open! The objective of this call is to offer physical access to EMSO Facilities where users’ devices can be installed, including sensors, instruments, systems, new technologies and where new procedures/experiments can be tested/taken place. The set of Regional Facilities offered for access provides the broadest scientific and technological capabilities to future users. At the moment, four Facilities are available and more will be added as the physical access program grows within EMSO ERIC.

This is a unique opportunity for scientists and research engineers to avail of high-quality, interlinked instrumented platforms operating in open ocean for carrying out research and/or testing activities.

Regional Facilities’ engineers and scientists can also provide training and co-development to users interested in learning specialised techniques/methodologies and developing new products, taking advantage of years of experience gathered in EMSO Facilities’ labs. Tailored data collection by the Facilities’ instruments is another service that may be provided.

The evaluation of project proposals will be performed every two months and the selected ones will be funded.Funding consists of Facility Access Units (days of usage) and economic support for operations, travel, shipping and consumables. This economic support amounts to 45000 Euros for all projects in 2022 and will be distributed evenly among the four cut-off dates.

To know more about the whole offer, the application procedures and deadlines, click here!

METROFOOD-PP Final Conference – Boosting Research and Joint Cooperation: an Agrifood System Snapshot

The METROFOOD-PP Final Conference – Boosting Research and Joint Cooperation: an Agrifood System Snapshot, will be held the 19th of May at the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Bucharest.

Starting from the achievement of METROFOOD-PP project, with the goals and outcomes we set ourselves at supporting METROFOOD-RI to grow and move forward, the conference will represent the occasion to debate about the relevance of boosting research, cooperation, innovation, and stakeholder engagement in support to the agrifood.

The Conference will gather together representative of the scientific community and the relevant stakeholders of the agrifood system to discuss the main related challenges (with reference, e.g. to food quality & safety, traceability & transparency, digitalization, circular bioeconomy, sustainability and resilience) and share the point of view of both food businesses, covering primary production and food and drink industry, and consumers, even highlighting the importance of directly engaging all the different actors by applying multi-actor and co-creation approaches. Furthermore, the point of view of research and national metrology institutes will be considered, highlighting the importance of harmonization and standardization.

The conference will be organized in a blended version, so it will be possible to participate either in presence or remotely!

Registration is open here, while the final agenda can be downloaded here.

#ENRIITCyourCoffee season 5 episode 2 with NEUTRONS

Welcome to the recap of #ENRIITCyourCoffee second episode of the season. We are taking slightly longer breaks between the coffee dates. If you miss us or would like to talk about your own project, please let us know at enriitc@ess.eu.

This episode was all about neutrons. This topic was introduced by Robin Woracek, Instrument Scientist at European Spallation Source ERIC (ESS). Unfortunately, Andrew Jackson who is the Group Leader and Instrument Scientist at ESS, was not able to join us. However, Robin was kind enough to step in and talked us through the topic of exploring materials with neutrons – a natural tool for industrial research.


Robin elaborated on his passion for neutrons and why this interest is not purely scientific. Neutrons have a neutral charge, as can be deducted from their name. This makes them deeply penetrating for magnetic structures. Being able to differentiate between isotopes, neutrons allow us to visualise hydrogen fuel cells, design better superconductors and understand drug binding and enzyme actions, just to name a few uses. Robin explains the differences between neutrons and more commonly known x-rays. In the below video at 03:25, you can see a comparison between x-ray imaging and neutron imaging at 04:29.

In a nutshell: a neutron ‘sees’ through the heavier metallic elements and is attenuated by the lighter elements, meaning it sees light!

Contrast mechanisms are the key to imaging. Robin explains a complex experiment with a cartoon for those who don’t know the basics of swapping hydrogen for deuterium at 06:38 in the video. The mechanism here is that Robin can make use of selective deuteration so they can make selected parts blend in or stick out. A great example of it is in the image below. This mechanism can be applied to a lot of different science cases and also industrial research areas.

Examples and use cases

The usages are various and spread across topics that do not fit on slides. Robin explains this on an x-axis going from the atomic and magnetic structure of materials all the way to watching a plant take up water from soil live and in 3D. Other use cases are to explore and understand how metals can become brittle since the impact of such events is almost always catastrophic. Additionally, a new line of use would be solid-state batteries using x-ray and neutron combined techniques. This could help us fight climate change. Neutron imaging has also been successful for cultural heritage applications like exploring a wooden kernel of a lead statue without any harm to the structure.

Last and probably one that most people can relate to is the study of cholesterol binding in cells where small angles scattering was used to get a better knowledge of lipoproteins. This is important to our lives since high cholesterol has increased to an epidemic in some parts of the world. If we can understand the exact mechanism of it, then we have the potential to help develop drugs to counteract such processes.

Once Robin concluded his presentation, the floor was given to the audience. The discussion took up such topics as non-confidential and non-paid beam time and how much of the beam time is used by industry partners overall. Check the discussion in the below video at 17:33.

Meanwhile, sign up for the next episode on 5 May with Robin’s colleague Sandra here.