Since 2016, ESFRI has introduced the Landscape Analysis (LA) in its Roadmaps. The Landscape Analysis provides an overview of the European RI ecosystem by identifying the main RIs operating transnational access in Europe, in all fields of research, and major new or ongoing projects. In addition to providing an outlook to the global landscape of relevance it also provides an opportunity to help identify potentially critical gaps in the current landscape. The Landscape Analysis has progressively evolved (2018, 2021) towards a more comprehensive and strategic document, now including trend analysis and the first examples of RIs services and their impacts in specific areas.

To underline the strategic relevance of the Landscape Analysis, ESFRI has decided to de-couple it from the Roadmap. Now the LA 2024 is a stand-alone document, that could be used by the scientific community to record their future needs, requests or available resources.

According to the new ERA Action 8, the ESFRI Landscape Analysis 2024 provides the framework for the next ESFRI Roadmap. It also contributes to the EOSC Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda and promotes the development of new Research Infrastructure services, including, when needed, infrastructure clustering for pan-European thematic or interdisciplinary services. In accordance with the Competitiveness Council conclusions Research Infrastructures - Council conclusions (approved on 2 December 2022), 15429/22, the ESFRI LA 2024 is based on a comprehensive analysis of the European RI landscape. Its objective is to identify existing synergies and complementarities, expose persistent deficiencies, shortcomings and gaps, and propose improvements on accessibility, networking, clustering, associating and even merging of European, national and regional RIs, and their deeper integration in a fully functional and interoperable European RI ecosystem.

The ESFRI LA 2024 provides a more consolidated gap analysis based on user needs. It includes RI services, technology, instrumentation, and data aspects, alongside societal and economic impact; it covers the different domains and multiple dimensions across the domains and also includes the evolution of needs to pinpoint priorities for future developments.

For this new concept of the Landscape Analysis, ESFRI has developed a new methodology building upon previous ESFRI experience and introducing an active role for the main stakeholders. The ESFRI LA drafting group has developed the new methodology, coordinated the entire process, and prepared the final report. Specific questionnaires tailored for RIs and Science Cluster Projects were utilised to gather relevant information on their current status, trends and future developments, as well as impact. For the first time, ESFRI has organised an open collection of information from key stakeholders to ensure capturing all relevant needs, priorities and trends; their strategic insights are publicly accessible on the ESFRI website. High-level experts were identified to support the work of the ESFRI drafting group on Landscape Analysis, with a focus on thematic aspects aligned with the Strategic Working Groups (SWGs), to elevate the analysis to a higher level of detail and complexity. The experts were asked to analyse the outcome of surveys received from RIs and stakeholders identified by ESFRI, to provide a broad perspective on the needs, drivers, and directions of Research Infrastructure (RI) landscape development in Europe, and contribute to the draft of the Landscape Analysis.

Given the complexity of the RIs ecosystem and the large variety of related topics, ESFRI has opted in the LA 2024 to focus the analysis only for identified critical areas, such as crises, Horizon Europe Missions[2], and digital and green transition.

This LA 2024 report also serves ESFRI as a platform to test the new methodology based on direct contributions from RIs and stakeholders, alongside the involvement of external experts for a deeper analysis. This methodology will undergo further refinement for the forthcoming LA reports, expected after 2026.

The ESFRI Landscape Analysis Report 2024 includes two main sections: Section 1 focuses on each of the six ESFRI Scientific domain (DIGIT, ENE, ENV, H&F, PSE, SSH), while Section 2 offers a broader view across all domains.

Section 1
Thematic Areas
Section 2
Cross-domain trends and challenges

In addition to the Landscape Analysis 2024 report, the ESFRI RIs Portfolio has been developed, an online tool that serves both as a component of the ESFRI LA 2024 and as a stand-alone, living source of information. It provides a two-page description of each ESFRI RI, picturing the “state of the art” of ESFRI RIs categorized by the six ESFRI research areas. The ESFRI 2024 RIs Portfolio will be updated periodically to ensure that up-to-date and easily usable information on ESFRI RIs is accessible to the scientific and stakeholders community.