D7.5 Final infrastructure Development plan
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ERIFORE – European Research Infrastructure for Circular Forest Bioeconomy – has been an Infradev-1 project (GA No 654371, 1.1.2016 – 31.1.2018) under Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. The future mission of the ERIFORE consortium is to establish an open access distributed research and innovation infrastructure for circular forest bioeconomy in Europe. ERIFORE focuses on the science and innovation bridge needed to develop and commercialise novel biorefinery process concepts for production of value added chemicals and materials from forest-based raw materials. The ERIFORE vision is to be a key contributor for European forestbased sector and to enable Europe to take the lead in the development and commercialisation of novel bio-based products. European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) has been successful in identifying research infrastructures (RIs) of pan-European interest to conduct top-level research activities meeting the long-term needs of European research communities and other stakeholders. Next generation RIs drive technological progress that depends on both transformative research and innovation. Implementing ESFRI infrastructures is critical for the European Union to remain at the forefront of science and technology and to stay competitive in the global knowledge-based economy. Furthermore, the coherent and strategy-led approach to policy-making on research infrastructure development has been seen to generate clear advantages on European level, such as avoiding duplication of efforts, pooling resources, rationalizing RI use, standardising processes and procedures and consolidating the global leadership of European RIs. The main result of the ERIFORE project as an ESFRI design study is the action plan to become a distributed research infrastructure on the ESFRI roadmap in 2020. The design study work was based on extensive mapping of research needs and drivers, availability and development needs of existing research infrastructure and collaboration in the field of circular forest bioeconomy. The design study covered outlines for initial business models, financing plans and governance structures. All public deliverable reports are accessible on the ERIFORE web page (www.erifore.eu). Research infrastructure collaboration under the ESFRI concept would bring notable benefits for the ERIFORE partners as well as for the whole European research and innovation system in circular forest bioeconomy. The legal framework of European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) will assure scientific impactful collaboration and long-term commitments from research infrastructure owners, national ministries and funding organisations. The establishment of an ERIFORE ESFRI project would ensure that the voice of the forest-based bioeconomy is heard in policy-making bodies at national and EU level. Work continues after the ERIFORE design study project in order to be ready for the next ESFRI Roadmap call for applications, presumably in 2019. Next phase of ESFRI planning will more carefully address the preconditions for the RI long-term sustainability and secure formal commitments from both Members and Partners Preparation for ESFRI Roadmap submission (2018-2019): The lead-up to submission has to be used to mature the business plan and in particular to ensure adequate commitments from the main stakeholders being national governments and other policy makers, partner organisations and related scientific and industrial interest groups. Scientific Partners need to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the ESFRI project proposal. In addition, signatures in Expressions of Interest (EoI) and Expressions of Support (EoS) are needed from prospective Members by 2019. ESFRI project: preparation phase (2020-2022): Having achieved ESFRI project status, it will be a continuous task to build awareness through informing and engaging stakeholders. In the preparation phase, the human resource policy will be completed and put into use as setting up the Central Office and recruiting staff becomes topical. Preparations for establishing governance in the chosen legal form will proceed towards applying for European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) status. Preparation phase completes financing and investment plans. From ESFRI project to landmark: implementation and operational phases (from 2023 on): Eventually all legal and contractual arrangements are ready for the distributed RI to become operational. Open access and education and training activities as well as e-infrastructure are in action. Governance structure is fully in place, and funding for all operations is secured. Design and building of new infrastructure is also possible under the ESFRI collaboration. The aim is to ensure that the distributed RI remains at the forefront of science and technology to offer the European research community and industry best opportunities to stay competitive in transferring scientific discoveries into novel concepts, products and services.