The term “research infrastructures” refers to facilities, devices, equipment or other resources situated at one location, distributed among several locations or virtual in nature. Research infrastructures are key factors used especially for gaining knowledge in basic research, applied research or experimental research or in the advancement and appreciation of the arts. They support the teaching and fostering of up-and-coming talent and are vital for ensuring that specialised expertise and skills are properly set up, operated and used.
Research infrastructures are essential for resolving the most daunting challenges facing society (e.g. climate change, health, the scarcity of resources, the loss of biodiversity, food security and digitalisation) and challenges also addressed in the EU Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development. They are geared to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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The type of research infrastructure is classified based on five different possible types of re-search infrastructures:
“Large equipment” means a conventional large-scale research installation. Building it up and operating this equipment consumes an essential part of the research budget of owning facility, institution, organisation or company (e.g. NMR devices, mass spectrometers).
Core facilities are common research centres, in which several devices or research infrastructures are available. A core facility has the technical and methodical knowledge available, which is needed by several working groups or units. Core facilities are normally equipped with highly qualified staff and offer in addition to their own methodical research services for research projects. The devices and infrastructure needed for a core facility require a complex technical know-how and result in high acquisition cost. Sharing a core facility allows to achieve a high degree of capacity utilisation.
Electronic database & collections:
An electronic database is a system for electronic data collection and management (except libraries). The essential function of an electronic database is to store huge amounts of data and to provide different subsets of these data tailored to requested display formats.
Spatial research infrastructure:
Spatial research infrastructure is defined as special architectural measures for the purposes of research and development of arts that is specific equipment, facilities and procedures, which are essential to use the rooms for the planned research purposes (e.g. dust-free rooms). Spatial basic equipment (laboratories, equipment of core facilities etc.) as well as their renewal and typical structural measures are not part of this survey. Research infrastructures (devices, databases etc.) being positioned in the spatial research infrastructures must be specified separately.
Other research infrastructure:
Any other research infrastructure (except buildings), which can be used for the research and development of the arts and which cannot be assigned to another type of research infrastructure.
The “allocation to core facility“ shows research infrastructures, which are part of a core facility. It offers a linking possibility for registered research infrastructures. Thereby the affiliation to another research infrastructure´s profile page becomes visible, e.g. with linking from a core facility to a large equipment.
a.) Web link: The web link offers a direct online linking to the research infrastructure.
b.) Location: The location shows, where the research infrastructure is physically located.
The short description defines a research infrastructure in a brief, understandable and informative manner. What type of research infrastructure is it? The brief description should help and support the search for a suitable research infrastructure.