“As I see it, the prime function of the Swedish Research Council Guide to Infrastructure is that it presents a broad survey of what initiatives are needed to give Swedish researchers access to the key tools for future frontline research,” says Madelene Sandström, chairman of the Swedish Research Council’s Committee for Research Infrastructures, which produced the Swedish infrastructure guide.
One growing tendency in many disciplines is for joint research infrastructure, from advanced laboratories to computing resources and databases, to determine the parameters for researchers to conduct cutting-edge research. Owing to constantly burgeoning research demands, tools are becoming so sophisticated as to necessitate collaboration in a region, or internationally. That’s why the Swedish Research Council has decided to publish a roadmap for research infrastructures. A similar document was launched last week by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, ESFRI.
“The two documents complement each other,” says Lars Börjesson, who, as secretary general of the Committee for Research Infrastructures, was involved in compiling both the Swedish and the European roadmaps. “Since the European proposals are on such a large scale, Sweden will only be able to participate in a few of the collaborative projects,” concludes Lars Börjesson.
The Swedish Research Council’s Guide to Infrastructure should be seen as an up-to-date overview of the research infrastructure required for Swedish basic research of the highest order, but it is not a strict list of priorities and represents no funding commitments. The report will be revised annually: the next version, planned for summer 2007, is to be used in the Research Council’s documentation for the next Government Research Policy Bill.
The Swedish Research Council’s Guide to Infrastructure will be available in English in its entirety in 2007. At present only the original Swedish version, Vetenskapsrådets guide till infrastrukturen, is available.