The biennial International Conference for Research Infrastructures (ICRI 2022) was held in Brno, Czech Republic, from 19th to 21st October.

ICRI 2022 was a fantastic event involving 450 participants, almost a hundred speakers, nearly 40 side and satellite events, plus a Citizen Program spanning every evening of the conference week.

The main program focused on collaboration and sharing research infrastructure (equipment, instruments, data), as well as international cooperation, financing, sustainability and energy saving. There was also an interesting review of how research infrastructure was mobilized in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how preparedness for similar emergencies could be enhanced.

Side events and discussions covered everything from investing strategy and infrastructure governance; to the pros and cons of centralised, highly expensive, high-capacity national infrastructures versus distributed, lower cost and more agile units.

For a fun snapshot from the key sessions, see the Sketchnotes post on the ICRI 2022 blog.

APPF Executive Director Dr Susie Robinson attended the event and took part in three sessions:

  • A presentation and panel discussion on the successful RI-VIS project, which has built connections and visibility between international research infrastructures. Susie spoke specifically about the growing cooperation between APPF and its European counterpart EMPHASIS.
  • A presentation and panel discussion about the use of Challenge-based Frameworks in national research infrastructure roadmaps.
  • A presentation and panel discussion on measuring success – How do we know we are investing in the right things?

As the Czech Republic holds the presidency of the European Union this year, there was very strong government support for the conference, with some thoughtful and enthusiastic addresses from ministers and senior European Commission officials. It was declared that research infrastructures (RIs) are a top priority for the second half of the Republic’s presidency.

During the final day of the conference the Brno Declaration on Fostering a Global Ecosystem of Research Infrastructures was introduced and signed. The declaration highlights the essential role of research infrastructures and the importance of a thriving global RI ecosystem.

The Declaration includes the following goals:

  • Bringing together sectoral policies to enable knowledge-based responses to grand societal challenges.
  • Ensuring long-term sustainable development of research infrastructures globally.
  • Exploiting the potential of synergistic funding.
  • Fostering the global research infrastructure ecosystem and sharing good practice.
  • Strengthening science diplomacy.

ICRI 2022 was concluded with the exciting announcement that ICRI 2024 is going to be in Australia!

ICRI 2024 will be a wonderful chance to welcome our international colleagues Down Under, and showcase Australia’s research infrastructures including, of course, our own APPF!