Welcome to the recap of our #ENRIITCyourCoffee Season 3: Episode 6. We were happy to hear from Muriel Attané, Senior EU Public Affairs professional and Secretary General at European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO).
The main focus of our episode was to unpack what are Technology Infrastructures (TIs) and how they relate Research Infrastructures (RIs). In short EARTO definition of TIs is “facilities and resources, used either for technology development activities at intermediate TRLs or for testing and demonstration activities at higher TRL or for both activities” the intended uses are both public organisations and private companies including SMEs.
Some characteristics of TIs are that they can be both physical and virtual. Also, the extent of the network can be local or European for example. Muriel emphasises that these parameters can vary a lot. Additionally, TIs usually have two main and possibly intertwining purposes: cocreation of innovation and making sure that available technology is rolled out and used in the market. Disclaimer: such typology is an attempt at generalising a complex and diverse landscape, and it can of course lead to oversimplifications in several cases.
Muriel pointed out that often RIs and Tis can be located in the same building and even managed by the same entity and complement each other. She believes that this mutual enrichment is a better way to compare TIs and RIs.
Since TIs are focused on innovation, Muriel feels that their function is at times to invest in research and development where the industry can not make the substantial investment.
The last part of Muriel’s compact, yet comprehensive crash course to TIs are the gaps in the current system. She highlights that there needs to be a strategic approach to TIs and especially maintaining them. Also there should be more interconnectivity between TIs for capacity building and that there would be no gaps in technology when rolling out the for example the Green Deal or Digital strategy.
Watch our episode with Muriel to learn what other topics besides robotics and 3D printing are covered by TIs.
After Muriel’s presentation we had a lovely discussion talking more about the TI and RI differences, where do technology parks fit in and much more.
The next episode of our #ENRIITCyourCoffee is on the topic of applied and industrial vs fundamental science – who should get access to research infrastructures? The session will be led by Ed Mitchell, Head of Business Development Office at ESRF.He will be joined by Magnus Larsson (Head of Industrial Relations at MAXIV Laboratory) and Graham Appleby, (Business Development Manager at the UK’s ISIS Neutron and Muon Source). Register here.