Tenerife Declaration: Shaping the Future of Research Infrastructures

Tenerife Declaration on “Global Dimension and Sustainability of Research Infrastructures”

Research Infrastructures (RIs) form the bedrock of robust research and innovation ecosystems. RIs empower scientists, innovators, and stakeholders with the tools and resources they need to cultivate knowledge, cutting-edge technologies, and achieve progress aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These infrastructures are indispensable for pushing the boundaries of knowledge through fundamental and applied research, fostering innovation, and contributing to global goals.

The European Commission and many EU Member states within the the Spanish Presidency of the Council signed the Tenerife Declaration on “Global Dimension and Sustainability of Research Infrastructures” in September 2023. 

It calls for several important points for the Western Balkan economies too. 

Long-term Sustainability, Skills and Open Science

The declaration emphasizes the need for long-term sustainability, urging the exploration of funding mechanisms to cover all aspects of Research Infrastructures, from their inception to ongoing operations. 

The goal is to ensure these vital resources continue to thrive. Efforts are directed at enhancing the skills of researchers and innovators. 

Capacity-building programs, especially in Open Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI), are essential. 

Additionally, a call for reimagining recognition and rewards is made to support the digital transformation of RIs.

Open Science policies, exemplified by the European Open Science Cloud and adherence to FAIR principles, are vital for high-quality research and international collaboration. The declaration emphasizes the importance of open access and sustainable practices, including reducing carbon footprints.

Resource Availability and International Collaboration

Increasing the availability of crucial materials and considering substitutes is a priority. The declaration also highlights the necessity of addressing challenges in funding, access programs, and staff career development. 

This aligns with the aim of creating an optimized global RI ecosystem.

Furthermore, global cooperation is emphasized, aligned with European principles and values. It focuses on addressing issues like academic freedom, research ethics, gender equality, and protection against foreign interference. 

Evolution of the ERIC framework is vital to attract international partners and foster global collaboration, ultimately forming "Global RIs."

Advancing Global Research Infrastructures

The Tenerife Declaration underscores the crucial role of Research Infrastructures in advancing innovation and international collaboration. 

By addressing sustainability, skills development, open science, and global cooperation, it aims to tackle emerging global challenges while promoting rule-based multilateral cooperation.