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Environmental Research Infrastructure Innovation Roadmap: Paving the Way for the Development of New Technologies & Services to Address the Climate Crisis

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Research-driven environmental policies, and new technologies and services to support their effective implementation and monitoring, are essential for a timely and concerted approach to adapt to and mitigate the effects of the unfolding climate crisis. European Research Infrastructures (RIs) of the Environment Domain, collectively referred to as the European Environmental and Earth System RIs (ENVRI) community, provide the crucial data necessary upon this is built. To respond to the emerging challenges and needs brought upon the climate crisis, and adequately serve scientific and policy priorities across all environment domains, new services and technologies for scientists, policy-makers and industrial users, need to be developed and deployed by ENVRIs in an ongoing basis. To do this effectively, ENVRIs must monitor emerging needs and gaps that need to be filled, and leverage a coordinated innovation approach to accelerate the technological and service developments necessary to meet them.  
 
This will be addressed through the new Horizon Europe project “ENVRINNOV- ENVironment Research infrastructures INNOVation Roadmap”. ENVRINNOV received €2.5 million funding from the European Commission’s Horizon Europe Framework Programme, to prepare common strategies for the future development of Research Infrastructure (RI) technologies and services within the Environment community.
 
Starting in January, 2024 and with a duration of three (3) years, ENVRINNOV will co-design, test, and validate a common Innovation Roadmap for theENVRIcommunity. This Roadmap will set a credible pathway for the ENVRI community to establish and operate an ENVRI Innovation Hub (EIH), for the future development of new state-of-the-art technologies and services. The project will also develop the tools, policies, and community necessary for the Roadmap’s successful implementation.
 
To achieve this, ENVRINNOV will: i) Conduct a comprehensive analysis of ENVRI services and technological needs & gaps, and define how to monitor them regularly. ii) Define, digitalize, and promote the uptake of common ENVRI innovation strategies for new technologies/services development to meet emerging needs/gaps. This will be done by defining and testing innovation co-creation mechanisms between ENVRIs, industry and the scientific community and shaping them into common policies. The project will also develop an ENVRI innovation capacity-building programme, a digital platform to enable them, and an uptake strategy to promote them. iii) Engage the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and R&I environment ecosystems to ensure long-term synergies and complementarities with ENVRI and gather feedback and support for the Roadmap.
 
Finally, the project will plan for the timely and realistic implementation of the Roadmap, by also creating and validating with the ENVRI community an implementation plan, governance model and business model for the EIH.
 
ENVRINNOV’s approach supports ESFRI’s strategic objective to “accelerate the exploitation of EU RIs as knowledge & innovation hubs”. It will help strengthen the European response to the climate crisis and its associated scientific, societal and economic challenges, by increasing the capacity of ENVRIs to respond to them. It will contribute to a more effective EU RI landscape, and support better integration across thematic areas and with the EU Technology Infrastructure landscape.
 
ENVRINNOV's impact will manifest on multiple levels , unlocking opportunities for novel environmental monitoring technology solutions and data applications, while indirectly promoting the development of the Technology Infrastructure dimension in various RIs.
 
To achieve its objectives, the ENVRINNOV consortium brings together ten (10) partners from five (5) European countries- Cyprus, Germany, Finland, Italy and France. In addition to the Cyprus Institute, which is the coordinator of the project, the rest of the partners consist of: Forschungzentrum Julich GMBH -FZH (Germany), the Integrated Carbon Observation System- European Research Infrastructure Consortium- ICOS ERIC (Finland), the Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure- European Research Infrastructure Consortium – ACTRIS ERIC (Finland), the European Multi-Disciplinary Seafloor and Water Column Observatory-European Research Infrastructure Consortium -  EMSO ERIC (Italy), Helsingin Yliopisto- UHEL (Finland), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique -CNRS (France),  Commissariat à L'énergie Atomique et aux Énergies Alternatives - CEA (France), Karlsruher Institut Fuer Technologie - KIT (Germany) and Helmholtz-Zentrum Fur Umweltforschung GMBH - UFZ (Germany).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2023 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 101131426.

 

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