Symposium on Transatlantic EU - U.S. Cooperation in the Field of Large Scale Research Infrastructures:

Sparking off sustainable dialogue and cooperation 

bridges vol. 27, October 2010 / Noteworthy Information

The Symposium on Transatlantic EU - U.S. Cooperation in the Field of Large Scale Research Infrastructures was held in Rome on October 1, 2010. Organized by the BILAT-USA Project in cooperation with the European Commission and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the Symposium brought together high level experts and representatives from the European Commission and NSF as well as leading representatives of Research Infrastructure projects in Europe and the U.S. Participants from the EU and the U.S. have expressed the need to strengthen the systematic exchange of information and experience, and have identified a number of areas that provide opportunities for future collaboration.

At the end of the symposium, there was mutual agreement that the experiences and ideas discussed during the plenary and parallel sessions had seriously boosted awareness, knowledge and commitment on both sides to improve transatlantic cooperation on large scale research infrastructures. Based on the outcomes of the parallel sessions various follow up activities, such as thematic workshops, will be organized in 2011. Additionally, the Symposium Report will provide future perspectives not only in cross-cutting areas such as management of and access to research infrastructures , but also in various topics such as the cyber-infrastructure, e-infrastructure, cyber-security, environment, particle physics and astronomy, as well as biological and medical sciences, which were covered during the parallel sessions.

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Purpose & Scope: The purpose of the EU-U.S. symposium on Large Scale Research Infrastructures (LSRI) was to increase mutual understanding and raise awareness on planning and management processes of the LSRI in Europe and in the USA. The symposium brought together major LSRI funding organizations, representatives from the European Commission and the U.S. National Science Foundation as well as related experts and scientists to discuss how LSRI are developed and managed, the priorities and strategic perspectives for development of LSRI, ongoing initiatives at the EU Level, national level in Europe and in the USA, as well as good practice examples on selected topics of mutual interest including recommendations for tackling challenges to trans-Atlantic cooperation.

The full-day event was organized in plenary sessions in the morning followed by 4 theme-specific parallel sessions in the afternoon (see attached Agenda).

The purpose of the plenary sessions was to highlight and discuss the opportunities and challenges faced in LSRI development and management by EU and U.S. The specific objectives include:

  • The reflection on current trends in LSRI in Europe and in the U.S.
  • The enhancement of dialogue and the knowledge exchange between major stakeholders in EU and U.S.

The objective of the parallel sessions was to promote good knowledge sharing practices in the selected thematic fields, to identify obstacles to collaboration, and to contribute towards developing new strategies and modalities in future collaboration that address these issues. Parallel sessions provided overviews of the selected projects supported by EU and U.S. and presented the results of these projects as well as shared experiences and lessons on transatlantic cooperation. Based on the presentations and discussions, suggestions and recommendations for addressing issues to further strengthen the collaboration within these themes will be drafted.