Testimonial from ENRIITC – supported growth of international ILO network

Jose Antao is the Portuguese Industrial Liaison Officer for CERN, ITER and ESRF. Previously a delegate at ESFRI, ERIC Committee and the Horizon 2020 Research Infrastructures Committee, he now works closely with a number of companies in the Big Science market. Jose kindly agreed to tell us about the impact that the ENRIITC project has had for him.

Thanks for your time, Jose. Firstly, could you describe your interaction with ENRIITC?

My interaction was not extensive, but significant. The majority of ENRIITC activities were completed during the pandemic, so most project workshops and coffee meetings were organised virtually. I participated in a number of them.

What did ENRIITC bring you? What impact has the project had for you?

I would split the impact into 3 broad areas:

  1. Industrial Liaison Officers from different countries and for different infrastructures had the chance to meet, interact and learn from each other. In a time of pandemic-driven distancing, it was actually possible to be closer to some of these colleagues.
  2. ENRIITC focused broadly on Research Infrastructures, and not only on Big Science organizations, with which I work directly. It was interesting to hear about different realities and put the expectations from each actor in perspective.
  3. I could meet several Industry Contact Officers from organizations I don’t usually work with. It was good to sit at the same table and associate their names and faces to the organizations they serve. I believe several new ILO-ICO connections were made, which will strengthen the European industrial ecosystem around Research Infrastructures.

ENRIITC provided knowledge on how the systems of ILOs and ICOs is organised. I would be happy if, thanks to my engagement, companies I collaborate with get more contracts and Research Infrastructures find new suppliers to support their mission.

How do you think others can benefit from ENRIITC?

The lowest-hanging fruit is for ILOs and ICOs from Big Science organisations to pick. They have more similar interests and it will be easier to adopt practices and merge/enlarge the networks.

But the ENRIITC consortium is very diverse, and dividends will not be as obvious or immediate to non-Physics organisations in it.

The bright side is that the network is alive and people seem eager to continue working together. On every side, there is increased awareness of problems and possible solutions around the industrial relationships with Research Infrastructures. And a set of familiar faces to continue tackling those challenges together.

Which activity was most inspiring for you?

I really enjoyed the regular #ENRIITCyourCoffee sessions. ENRIITC filled the gap in the pandemic, providing a platform for us to have discussions and share best practices.

Great – thanks again for your time, Jose.

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