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High quality and accessible infrastructures unlock the skills of researchers and the possibilities of science. Is it possible to facilitate access to research infrastructure across our Alliance, offering researchers new opportunities and increasing the impact of our work?

Like all aspects of RIS4CIVIS, our activities on research infrastructures aim to contribute to an integrated, long-term Research & Innovation (R&I) strategy for the CIVIS Alliance. Over time, this will enable the member universities to integrate their know-how, expertise and resources in the service of R&I that effectively addresses current and future societal challenges, at local, regional and international level. In this vision, research infrastuctures are horizontal resources and drivers – operating in any R&I sector – which can underpin the development of a joint R&I strategy at a CIVIS level.
The activities in this module have been designed and implemented in accordance with the European Charter for Access to Research Infrastructures - Principles and Guidelines for Access and Related Services.

Our objectives for CIVIS open research infrastructures

In Module 2 we are developing two case studies which can help open up research infrastructures across the CIVIS Alliance:

  1. Implementing a digital tool or interactive online platform to present all CIVIS open research infrastructures.
  2. Drafting a joint strategy for the creation of a CIVIS Research Infrastructure Network, which can in the long-term be upgraded to a full CIVIS Research Label. (The label is a long-term vision which would be implemented after the end of the RIS4CIVIS project).

These projects will help the CIVIS Alliance develop an open way to share research infrastructures across member universities, helping us unlock the networking potential of our own infrastructures. Eventually this could even open the door to links with research infrastructures in other Alliances or poles of research and innovation around the world.  The case studies in RIS4CIVIS Module 2 can bring many benefits for researchers and universities in the CIVIS Alliance:

  • Making research infrastructures open and accessible to all researchers
  • Increasing awareness in the CIVIS community about the availability of open research infrastructures
  • Enhancing the visibility of research infrastructures towards users from outside CIVIS
  • Fostering networks between CIVIS research infrastructures
  • Fostering cooperation with the private sector and industry, as potential users of CIVIS research infrastructures
  • Guaranteeing access to research infrastructures within a common framework and shared principles
  • Benefitting from different services which support the development of research infrastructures
  • Sharing competencies and expertise at CIVIS-level
  • Defining in a clearer and more transparent way the rules for using research infrastructures, to make access smoother

Our activities on research infrastructures

Given our ambition and the high number of potential open research infrastructures across the CIVIS Alliance, it was first crucial to have a map of strategic research infrastructures available at each member university. For this mapping we passed through the CIVIS Hubs, identifying the main features as well as the main policies regarding the management and usage of research infrastructures in each CIVIS university. We also developed an overview of possible barriers hampering the use of research infrastructures by academics in other CIVIS member universities and by other stakeholders.

In a second phase, our activities aimed to:

  • Complete the analysis of legal, logistical and financial barriers
  • Identify a proposal for the establishment of one single access point to open research infrastructures across the Alliance and their conditions of use
  • Elaborate a model for the shared exploitation of CIVIS research infrastructures
  • Identify infrastructure(s) that would ideally be the object of a CIVIS upgrading (such as the possibility to apply for a label procedure by committing to a common Charter of Principles)

We are now in the process of launching our case studies, which will run until the end of 2023:

  • Establishing an interactive information platform to be a single place to learn about access to CIVIS open research infrastructures. This platform includes 172 individual research infrastructures available for joint use, even if only partially, by any user belonging to a CIVIS member university and sometimes also to external users, including CIVIS partner organisations and businesses.
  • Developing a joint strategy for the creation of a CIVIS Research Infrastructures Network, in the short term, with ambitions for a CIVIS Research Infrastructures Label in the long term. This network and the future label will be available to all CIVIS open research infrastructures who are committed to adopting the same general principles in their rules of usage. These principles, which will be defined in a CIVIS Charter for Research Infrastructures, will set out a framework for access and a procedure for awarding the CIVIS Research Infrastructures Label.

RIS4CIVIS Podcast - Sharing Research Infrastructures

The share of research infrastructures across the CIVIS Alliance is a key challenge for RIS4CIVIS. To broaden RI within the Alliance, the module 2 has developed a digital tool to gather all CIVIS open RI as well as defined a joint strategy for the creation of a CIVIS Research Infrastructure Network. Listen to our new podcast dedicated to RI through the expertise of Ciro Franco, the module 2 coordinator on RI and Luciano Galantini, the rector delegate for the upgrading of the research laboratories of Sapienza Università di Roma. 

Briefing note

RIS4CIVIS modules leaders have addressed briefing notes to advocate decision-makers on relevant guidelines based on their experiences and main findings. Briefing notes give decision-makers knowledge and provide recommendations on key actions areas such as Open science, Human Capital, Infrastructure, Civil Society or Industry.