A compendium of research infrastructure roadmaps and of the international dimensions of infrastructures

Strategic planning exercises ("roadmaps") play an increasingly important role in the formulation of science policy. Roadmapping can be particularly valuable for deciding about the implementation of large-scale research infrastructures, since it allows the projects to be considered in a broad context that includes national and global priorities, multiple scientific disciplines, alternative and competing projects, and the possible involvement of international partners. At the Sixteenth Meeting of the OECD Global Science Forum (GSF) on March 2, 2007, delegates held a half-day structured discussion about roadmapping of large research infrastructures. Given the multiplicity of national and regional roadmaps (and the likelihood that additional ones will be undertaken in the near future) it was agreed that there is a need to compile the results of these exercises in a systematic, coherent way, and to examine the generic options for possible joint implementation of selected infrastructures. This proposal describes a follow-on project that would include additional discussions at the GSF's meetings on October 2007 and (possibly) March 2008.
A compilation of roadmaps would allow scientists and policymakers to consider any particular proposed research infrastructure in a global context, and to contemplate potential collaborative efforts. However, the discussion at the GSF revealed the great diversity of roadmaps, in terms of scope, mandate, authority, rules and procedures, and links to funding mechanisms. Thus the presence (or absence) of a project on one or more roadmaps may reflect its relative priority, or may simply reflect the terms under which the roadmaps were initiated and prepared. Accordingly, any useful compilation and comparison of roadmaps must be an analytical one, i.e., it must include information about the roadmapping processes themselves.
Infrastructures identified as "global" or of an international nature, which appear on more than one roadmap, are possible candidates for international collaboration. Many modes of collaboration are possible, each with its own set of rules, constraints, procedures, and instruments. While each project is, to some extent, unique, there are common elements as well, and these can be usefully compiled in the final stage of the proposed work.
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What Countries are Doing

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Published by Science and Technology Facilities Council in 1969

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