THE RACE TOWARDS FUSION. IFMIF-DONES, a scientific infrastructure with priority for the European Union
In July 2018, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), included IFMIF-DONES, along with other five scientific infrastructures, in its roadmap. This milestone was vital for the project and its construction in Granada, opening the door to the attraction of European funds. The inclusion of this project presented by Spain among the high-priority scientific infrastructures for ESFRI confirmed Granada as the location to implement one of the most ambitious European projects in fusion energy research.
This decision was adopted at an ESFRI meeting in Corfu (Greece), which gathered representatives of 27 member states of the EU and 12 associated countries. On September 11, ESFRI officially presented its roadmap at an event in Vienna by the Austrian Presidency of the EU.
What is ESFRI?
The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) is an instrument to develop the scientific integration of Europe, to define its policy in terms of scientific infrastructures and to strengthen its international outreach. The competitive and open access to high quality research infrastructures supports and benchmarks the quality of the activities of European scientists and attracts the best researchers from around the world. ESFRI operates at the forefront of European and global science policy and contributes to its development translating political objectives into specific advice to boost R&D in Europe.
The mission of ESFRI is to support a coherent approach to policy-making on research infrastructures in Europe, and to facilitate multilateral initiatives leading to the better use and development of research infrastructures, at EU and international level. The idea is that different European countries can share financial and human resources, coordinating strategies to avoid double efforts and establishing synergies and complementarities.
Since it was formed in 2002 at the behest of the European Council, ESFRI has witnessed significant advances towards unity and international impact in the field of research infrastructures. ESFRI published its first Roadmap in 2006 and since then several updates have been key to maintain the European Union at the forefront of research.
Roadmap 2018 – IFMIF-DONES
In July 2018, ESFRI presented the last update of its Roadmap, including 8 scientific projects which had reached its operation phase and six new projects for their strategic potential and impact in strengthening research in the EU.
Among these six projects, ESFRI included IFMIF-DONES, validating Spain and Croatia’s joint candidacy for its construction in Escúzar, Granada, with a favourable report by Fusion for Energy in December 2017.
The inclusion of IFMIF-DONES in the ESFRI Roadmap was key for the project. It marked the beginning of the preparatory phase, with European funding, and the implementation phase, allowing to take the first steps in civil engineering for the construction of the facility.