Research infrastructures are at the core of research, education and innovation processes and enable ground breaking research. They can also be key drivers of sustainable growth and social progress. The term ‘‘major research infrastructures” refers to facilities and resources that can be used by the entire research community to conduct top-level research in their respective fields. This definition covers: major scientific equipment or sets of instruments; knowledge-based resources such as collections, archives or structured scientific information; ICT-based e-Infrastructures (networks, computing resources, software and data repositories) of a unique nature essential to achieve or enable excellence in research.
Research infrastructures became increasingly expensive and complex over the years and require varied qualified personnel to operate. These developments highlight the need for organized planning procedures and prioritization, while considering the benefits gain for the entire academic system. For this purpose the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education decided to initiate a long tern planning process for its financial support of major research infrastructure in the public- budgeted academic institutions.
An advisory committee was appointed to advise the PBC on the subject by mapping the existing research infrastructure, examining and prioritizing needs for new infrastructure, and forming a roadmap. The committee appointed five sub committees, each covers a different broad research area, to examine every field.