Hosted by MEP and Vice-Chair of the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee of the European Parliament, Lina Gálvez, LEAPS invited its partners and stakeholders to an in-person event on 31 May 2022, at the premises of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Brussels.
On this auspicious occasion LEAPS launched “The European Strategy for Accelerator-based Photon Science 2022 (ESAPS22)”, their updated Research Infrastructure (RI) strategy. The strategy defines several focal research areas for the future, from the discovery of new materials to the circular economy, to biomedicine. The detailed LEAPS strategy demonstrates the means of achieving the aim which is to improve the technical capabilities of its 19 members’ facilities to comply with the future needs of European researchers from Academia and Industry.
Lina Gálvez gave a warm welcome and emphasized how much she keenly supports the relevance of European RIs through the European Commission and the European Council. She emphasized in particular the need for long-term committed support from Europe to enable fast and sustainable access to meet the needs of the Grand Challenges. Apostolia Karamali, Head of Unit for R&I Actors and Research Careers of the EC, also contributed explaining the Commission’s views and plans on RIs. She listed the challenges faced by RIs and the need for a broader policy and to review the priorities of Horizon Europe in terms of budgetary distribution in the mid-term.
Caterina Biscari (Outgoing Chair of LEAPS and Director of ALBA, Spain) presented LEAPS’ specificities and achievements making a strong case for continued investment by the Commission to complement nationally funded upgrades demonstrating the potential positive impacts of improved service provision on the European RI landscape which can be taken a step further with additional support of the EC.
Helmut Dosch (Former Chair of LEAPS and Director of DESY, Germany) discussed the context in which ESAPS22 was prepared and went through the contents highlighting key points including future service provision, the facilities upgrade plans, plans for the digital and green transformation and several transversal actions such as training and commitment to diversity. The ESAPS22 provides a roadmap for the interaction between national RI and European research ambitions and sets out a pathway for a stronger, more resilient European Research Area.
A lively debate followed, chaired by Mirjam van Daalen (Head of Communications, PSI) with interventions from Jochen Wosnitza (Chair of the Analytical Research Infrastructures in Europe, ARIE), Peter Wenzel-Constabel (Vice-Chair of ESFRI), the scientific expert Kristina Edström (Coordinator of Battery 2030+), the industry expert Christoph Quitmann (RI-Research Instruments GmbH) and Leonid Rivkin (LEAPS Chair and Deputy Director, PSI).
The ensuing dialogue between the policymakers, industry experts and scientists revealed common goals, stimulated ideas and resulted in points of mutual interest which will enrich the development of roadmaps demonstrating the relevance and timeliness of ESAPS22 and the importance of the Commission’s ambitions for the future of Europe. The meeting concluded with a sense of continuity and a willingness from all to take European ambitions further, aptly captured in the final words by LEAPS Chair “all for one and one for all”.
“There is the need to broaden the programs to which the RIs can apply and a special focus should be put on talents which must be equally distributed since opportunities are not.”
Lina Gálvez, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair of the ITRE Committee
“Within the rich landscape of ESFRI projects, landmarks, ERICS and networks such as LEAPS there is the need to create systemic links to optimise the needs and to structure the involvement of stakeholders. For this, roadmaps such as the LEAPS ESAPS22 become essential tools.”
Apostolia Karamali, Head of Unit for R&I Actors and Research Careers of the European Commission
“LEAPS is opening up to new parties through a unique service mode for targeted challenge-driven access for areas such as public health, rational catalysis, energy storage, green hydrogen, clean water and advanced quantum materials.”
Helmut Dosch, former Chair of LEAPS and Director of DESY
“Today we heard so many good ideas that I think that we will not necessarily wait until 2025, there are plenty of opportunities and we will get going immediately” concluded Rivkin.
Leonid Rivkin, Chair of LEAPS and Deputy Director of PSI