Three new pan-European energy research infrastructures have been announced by the Research Ministers of the European Union Member States and Associated Countries (RMEUMSAC) and the European Commission (EC).
Among the facilities planned are a wind research operation in Denmark (WindScanner, costing between between €45m and €60m), a concentrated solar power installation in Spain (EU-SOLARIS – costing around €80m) and and a nuclear research reactor in Belgium (MYRRHA – costing around €960m, for an estimated €1.2bn.
European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, said: “Developing world-class research infrastructure in Europe, by pooling resources at EU level, is an important objective of the Innovation Union.
“These facilities will enable ground-breaking research and innovation and ultimately they could help to secure the EU’s future energy supply. We need to bring research, technology, industry and market implementation closer together and that is the purpose of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan.”
The announcements will be part of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), where 50 new research infrastructures are expected over the next 10 to 20 years, amounting to around €2bn per year.
One of the objectives of the Innovation Union is to launch by 2015 the construction of 60pc of these priority European research infrastructures, primarily financed by EU Member States, but with the support of European programmes.