On the 26 May 2014, in its conclusions, the Council acknowledged the work done by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) with regard to identification of priority projects which are developed enough to be implemented in 2015-2016.
The Council noted that ESFRI has identified three projects from the ESFRI roadmap as priorities in that they are pushing the boundaries of scientific excellence, are strategically relevant for Europe, and are ready for immediate action
The most relevant of the three Priority Projects for implementation is ELIXIR: The European Life-Science Infrastructure for Biological Information. It is important to note that ELIXER is a European Commission funded inter-governmental organisation, the goal of which is to co-ordinate the collection, quality control and archiving of large amounts of biological data produced by life science experiments. Moreover, ELIXIR’s preparatory phase was managed by a Steering Committee comprising many of Europe's most bioinformaticians from across Europe, users of biological data and policy specialists.
The Council also noted that ESFRI has identified nine additional projects that could reach implementation phase by 2015-2016, the most important of which is BBMRI: Biobanking and Bimolecular Resources Research Infrastructure. BBMRI was one of the initial projects to enter the European Research Infrastructure preparatory phase of the ESFRI roadmap funded by the European Commission (EC). On 22 November 2013, BBMRI was officially awarded the Community legal framework for a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). This specific legal form is designed to facilitate the joint establishment and operation of research infrastructures of European interest.
The ERIC status facilitates the amalgamation of biobanks and biomolecular resources into a pan-European facility. BBMRI-ERIC will provide access to the collections of partner biobanks and biomolecular resources, their expertise and services on a non-economic basis.
The Council also confirmed the Member States’ commitment to focus their available national resources on the respective prioritised projects they are financially participating in and invites the Commission, under Horizon 2020, to complement the Member States’ own financial commitments through a one-time financial contribution for the priority projects, and to financially support the other projects (preparation and implementation) identified by ESFRI and listed in the Annex.
The Council also welcomes the plans of ESFRI to update its roadmap in 2015/2016.
The link to the Council conclusions can be found here