The ERIC Forum took part in the Science Summit around the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76) on 14 September 2021, to raise awareness about Research Infrastructures’ role and contribution to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In that regard, ERICs’ contributions to the different goals were presented.
Research Infrastructures are considered one of the success stories of the European Research Area (ERA), and have transformed the way science is done as they facilitate access to large-scale facilities to perform excellent and ground-breaking research.
The ERIC community has been expanding in the last 10 years and until now it counts 23 established ERICs and nearly 10 European Research Infrastructures aspiring to become an ERIC. It’s a diverse community that covers the 5 research domains of the ESFRI roadmap, and significantly contributes to the UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and to tackling grand societal challenges.
ERICs’ Contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Examples from research projects and activities:
- BBMRI-ERIC contributes to UN SDG 3. Good Health and Well-Being by facilitating access to high-quality samples, data and bimolecular resources in life sciences. More here.
- CERIC-ERIC contributes in providing solutions to pressing societal challenges and responding to the UN SDGs, with an increased focus on the development of services in the fields of energy and life sciences. CERIC research projects provide ground-breaking discoveries that largely contribute to sustainable development goals 7. Affordable and Clean Energy, 12. Responsible Consumption and Production, 14. Life Below Water, and 15. Life on Land. Read more here.
- CLARIN-ERIC is an active participant in various public policies. CLARIN contributes to the SDGs starting from its role as a research infrastructure to facilitate researchers and their projects. For three of the Sustainable Development Goals, CLARIN’s offer of language data and tools have specific added value to SDGs 4. Quality Education, 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth, and 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. Read more here.
- ECCSEL responds to the UN SDGs by contributing to solutions that substantially reduce C02emissions from industry and power generation. With the focus of strengthening the services in the field of energy, ECCSEL research projects contribute to the overall vision of ECCSEL to enable low to zero CO2emissions from industry and power generation to combat climate change. Read more here.
- ECRIN-ERIC is the European Research Infrastructure facilitating multinational clinical research, through the provision of advice and services for the set-up and management of investigator or SME led clinical studies in Europe. As such, ECRIN-ERIC contributes to UN SDG 3, Good Health and Well-Being.
- ELI-ERIC‘s contributions to current societal challenges and the UN SDGs derive from access to world-class high power and ultra-fast lasers for science that will enable cutting-edge research in physical, chemical, material, and medical sciences, as well as breakthrough innovations from which tools and technology can be developed for the benefit of society. ELI-ERIC contributes to SDGs 3. Good Health and Well-Being, 7. Affordable and Clean Energy, 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, 12. Responsible Consumption and Production. Read more here.
- The Euro-Argo ERIC Research Infrastructure maintains one fourth of the international Argo network of about 4000 autonomous profiling floats measuring various ocean properties with a large, sustained and uniform coverage of the global ocean. It provides time series of physical and biogeochemical parameters to a wide range of users and contributes to two SDGs in particular: SDG13. Climate Action and SDG14. Life Below Water. Read more here.
- Euro-BioImaging ERIC: Imaging technologies provide crucial observations that help scientists understand the world around us. Euro-BioImaging ERIC provides open access to the technologies and expertise that support break-through discoveries in health, food security, plant biology and marine ecosystems, thus contributing to UN Sustainable Development Goals 3. Good Health and Well-Being, 13. Climate Action and14. Life Below Water. Read more here.
- European Social Survey ERIC data can be analysed to provide evidence of public support of policy implementation to help European countries meet the aims of the UN SDGs, in particular SDG.3 Good Health and Wellbeing, and SDG. 13 Climate Action. Read more here.
- European Spallation Source ERIC is a multi-disciplinary research facility based on the world’s most powerful neutron source, that will enable scientific breakthroughs within energy, environment, healthcare and materials, addressing some of the most important societal challenges of our time. ESS will be one of the world´s first sustainable research infrastructures. Among other, some of its future research projects will tackle SDG.2 Zero Hunger, and SDG 7. Affordable and Clean Energy. Read more here.
- EU-OPENSCREEN ERIC brings together in a common platform European centres of excellence in Chemical Biology to jointly support research at the interface between chemistry and biology. Chemical Biology, with the tools and knowledge it generates, addresses all facets of the grand societal challenges for ‘healthy living in a healthy environment’.
- ICOS-ERIC: by providing harmonised, high quality greenhouse gas (GHG) measurements across Europe, ICOS contributes directly to SDG 13 ‘Climate Action’. Monitoring GHG emissions and removals is vital to achieve carbon neutrality. ICOS data along with excellence climate science and active international dialogue enable informed decision-making for global climate strategies. In addition, ICOS ERIC contributes to several other SDGs in two key impact areas: Scientific Excellence (tackling SDGs 2, 6, 7, 11, 14, 15) and Societal Impact (tackling SDGs 4, 16, 17). Read more here.
- Instruct-ERIC contributes to the UN SDGS 3. Good Health and Well-Being and 15. Life on Land. Read more here.
- The Joint Institute for VLBI European Research Infrastructure (JIV-ERIC) provides access and offers support to users of the European VLBI Network, which includes 22 telescopes around the world that combined offer the sharpest view of the Universe. JIV-ERIC contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals from its role as a research infrastructure to facilitate high-quality research as well as through the impact of astronomy in innovation, education, equity, job creation and entrepreneurship. JIV-ERIC contributions to SDG1No Poverty, SDG2 Zero Hunger, SDG4 Quality Education, SDG5 Gender Equality, SDG8 Good jobs and Economic Growth, SDG9 Innovation and infrastructures, SDG13 Climate Action, SDG16 Peace and Justice and SDG17 Partnerships for the Goals. Read more here.
- LifeWatch ERIC contributes to the UN SDGs by making bespoke ICT tools and services available to biodiversity and ecosystem scientists to facilitate their research, which equips policymakers and civil society with the information required to address key planetary challenges. LifeWatch ERIC’s technological expertise, guided by its engagement and exchange with the ecology research community, leads to breakthroughs in understanding the global factors responsible for the ongoing loss of biological diversity and ecosystem functioning: information which can help accomplish the SDGs. Read more here.
- SHARE-ERIC is a research infrastructure for studying the effects of health, social, economic and environmental policies over the life-course of European citizens and beyond. SHARE is the largest pan-European social science panel study providing internationally comparable longitudinal micro data which allows insights in the fields of public health and socio-economic living conditions of European individuals, both for scientists and policy makers. Research based on SHARE data provides scientific results publicly available on social science topics related to the SDGs, with a focus on public health, (mental) health, well-being, socio-economic living conditions, (gender) equality, education, work and retirement, and more. Read more here.