Part 1
Strategy Report

Roadmap & Strategy report

The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI)In June 2001, the Research Council invited "the Commission, in close collaboration with the Member States, to explore the establishment of new arrangements to support policies related to research infrastructures”. The first meeting of ESFRI took place in Brussels on 25 April 2002. Detailed mandate and rules governing ESFRI are laid out in ESFRI Procedural Guidelines, see: , established in 2002, brings together national governments, the scientific community and the European Commission (EC) to support a coherent, strategy-led approach to Research Infrastructures (RI) in Europe.

Equipping Europe with infrastructures for ground breaking research is at the heart of the ESFRI RoadmapConclusions of the Competitiveness Council, 25-26 November 2004 and 21-22 May 2007

which identifies European investment priorities in RIsConclusions of the Competitiveness Council, 11 December 2012 and provides directions for their further development, analyses the main features of the RIs landscape in Europe to implement the European Research Area (ERA) Priority 2bConclusions of the Competitiveness Council, 1 December 2015, and looks into the future challenges of Research Infrastructure policy.

The ESFRI Roadmap 2021 is the sixth edition of the document, which has been influencing the European and national RIs strategies, policies and funding since 2006. ESFRI periodically updates its Roadmap to provide a coherent and strategic vision ensuring that Europe has excellence RIs in all fields of science and innovationConclusions of the Council of the European Union of 26 May 2014 on Implementation of the roadmap for the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures. Doc. 10257/14 
Conclusions of the Council of the European Union of 27 May 2016 on FP7 and Future Outlook: Research and innovation investments for growth, jobs and solutions to societal challenges. Doc. 9527/16
Conclusions of the Council of the European Union of 29 May 2018 on Accelerating knowledge circulation in the EU. Doc 9507/18
. The key messages of the 2021 edition of the Roadmap, prepared during the COVID-19 pandemic, clearly underline the importance of world-class RIs in enabling cutting-edge research needed to address the pressing requests and challenges of our society. This Roadmap, with the highest total cost of needed investments since the first edition in 2006, also demonstrates the persisting willingness of national governments to substantially invest in improving the RIs capacities in Europe, as an important element of our long-term scientific sovereignty and crisis preparedness.

This Strategy Report consists of four interconnected parts. First, it describes the MAIN FEATURES AND OUTCOMES OF THE ROADMAP 2021. Secondly, it presents WHAT IS NEW IN THE ROADMAP 2021 edition in comparison to its predecessor. In the third part, it analyses the LESSONS LEARNT from this Roadmap and from the work of ESFRI over the last three years. The final part provides a strategic outlook into the future, identifying the key challenges for the RI policy in the coming years, CHALLENGES AND STRATEGY FOR THE FUTURE. This strategic outlook is particularly important as the fast evolving RI ecosystem is challenged by changing external circumstances and ESFRI needs to react to those changes in order to be capable of maintaining its capability to provide timely and relevant strategic advice and to stimulate further development of the RI ecosystem in Europe.