Science, technology and innovation policy

Research Infrastructures mobilisation in response to COVID-19: lessons learned



 11 May 2021  Virtual workshop



This workshop was an opportunity to discuss some of the critical questions that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic for different research infrastructure stakeholders, as well as to draw up the lessons learned that could be of future use in either new emergency situation or, more broadly, to improve the efficiency of research infrastructures in addressing complex societal challenges.

This virtual workshop was organised as a satellite of the ICRI 2021 event. The key lesssons learned fed into the ICRI conference discussion as well as contributed to the ongoing activity of the OECD Global Science Forum (GSF) on “Mobilising science in times of crises”.

This event workshop included case study presentations from different research infrastructures as well as moderated panel discussion with representatives of research agencies, funders, governments and representatives from the research community.







11.30 - Introduction by by meeting chair (Petr Bartunek), OECD GSF, Science Europe and ICRI organiser.


11.45 - Session 1: Adapting RI processes in emergency situations

The objective of this session is to explore, based on case studies, how research infrastructures can adapt their management and operation to contribute to emergency research during crisis. How to develop ‘ín house’ projects and fast track user access for high priority research? How to adapt operation in a context of restricted physical access to RIs.

How to accelerate the diffusion of research results and data? What policy actions are required to enable research infrastructures to mobilise effectively?

Case studies (3x15min presentations)

Questions/Panel Discussion (15 min) (moderator: James Morris)

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12.45 - Session 2: Preparedness and Response of life science and health RIs

The objective of this session is to explore, based on case studies, how public health research infrastructures prepare for and respond to a global health crisis. What level of preparedness is required for an emergency response, how could this be improved? How to develop synergies and complementarities with other national and international efforts in a lasting crisis? How to share data available worldwide? How to address conflicting national priorities and develop international governance?

> Case studies (3x15min presentations):

> Questions/ Panel Discussion (15 min) (moderator: Heidi Bandulet)

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14:00 - Session 3: Policy lessons learned from COVID-19, and potential role of research

infrastructures in future crises The objective of this session is to explore how the lessons learned from the Covid-19 crisis can help improve the role of research infrastructures in times of crisis and to address future challenges. Can emergency operation processes be used to broaden the usefulness of RIs? Can new RI networks and collaboration be maintained and optimised for global challenges? What policy actions are required to enable research infrastructures to mobilise effectively for futur challenges?

> Panel Discussion (45 min)

  • Martin Taylor, Executive Director, Canadian Research Data Centre Network
  • Yasdan Yasdanpanah, Head of the French agency for emerging infectious diseases
  • Antonio Zoccoli, President of INFN, Italy
  • Lukas Levak, Director of Department of Research and Development at the Ministry of Education, Czech Republic

> Questions/Discussion (30 min) (moderator: Petr Bartunek)

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15:15 - Concluding remarks and key points for next steps



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