European Strategy Forum on Research Infraestructures (ESFRI)

European Strategy Forum on Research Infraestructures

ESFRI is the strategic forum formed by the EU Member States and the European Commission, which was established in 2002 at the request of the European Council, with the aim of coordinating a common strategy on scientific facilities and research infrastructures and, in particular, , develop a Pan-European Infrastructure Roadmap. The CSIC participates actively in different scientific facilities included in the Roadmap.

CSIC currently participates in the following European Pan structures.




KM3NeT 2.0 (KM3 Neutrino Telescope 2.0)


KM3NeT is a research infrastructure that houses next generation neutrino telescopes. These telescopes will have detector volumes between megatons and several cubic kilometres of seawater. Located in the deepest seas of the Mediterranean, KM3NeT opens a new window in our Universe, but also contributes to research into the properties of elusive neutrino particles. With the ARCA telescope, the KM3NeT scientific community is looking for neutrinos from distant astrophysical sources such as supernovae, gamma rays or colliding stars. On the other hand, the ORCA telescope is the tool for KM3NeT scientists who study the properties of neutrinos that exploit neutrinos generated in the Earth’s atmosphere. A deployment of thousands of optical sensors detects dim light in the depths of the sea from charged particles that originate from collisions of neutrinos and Earth. In addition, the facility also has instrumentation to carry out long-term on-line monitoring of the seabed environment at a depth of several kilometres..



  1. Inclusion in the ESFRI Infrastructure Roadmap: 2016
  2. Preparation phase: 2008-2014
  3. Implementation/Construction phase: 2016-2020
  4. Start of operation: 2020



EST (European Solar Telescope)

The European Solar Telescope (EST) is a project led by Spain, under the coordination of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), and in which the Instituto de Astronomía de Andalucía (CSIC) participates, for the construction and operation of a 4 m telescope dedicated to studying the fundamental processes in the Sun that control the solar atmosphere and its activity, and the physical conditions in the heliosphere. In this regard, one of its objectives of this initiative, in which more than 30 institutions from 18 countries participate, is to address the unresolved question about the emergence of magnetic fields on the solar surface and the transfer of magnetic and kinetic energy from the subsurface layers to the solar atmosphere. 
EST, is an initiative of European solar physics that not only represents a great scientific infrastructure for the Spanish solar physics community, but also an important engine of development with which to boost the Spanish economy, fostering business growth, at a national and regional level, around technological activities of high added value.


  1. Inclusion in the ESFRI Infrastructure Roadmap: 2016
  2. Design phase: 2008-2011
  3. Preparation phase: 2016-2021
  4. Implementation/Construction phase: 2021-2027
  5. Start of operation: 2029




SKA (Square Kilometre Array)


SKA is an international project that makes up the most sensitive interferometric radio telescope (radio interferometer) in the world at wavelengths between three centimetres and three meters. It is a project of real global reach that, for the time being, involves more than 50 institutions from 19 countries.
SKA Organisation (SKAO), which became a legal entity in 2011, coordinates the design and policy formulation for SKA management. In 2012, SKAO members agreed on a dual location for the SKA telescope in the deserts of South Africa and Australia, while the hosting of its headquarters by the UK was decided in 2015.
Also, on 12 March 2019, the agreement to establish the SKA Observatory as an Intergovernmental Organisation (IGO) was signed in Rome.
Due to its special characteristics, SKA promotes the achievement of high-profile qualitative advances in virtually all areas of modern astronomy. In particular, it enables the understanding of the formation of planetary systems, allows the discovery of ultra-fast pulsars, the detection of very low frequency gravitational waves, and the clarification of the role of magnetism in the Universe. In addition, SKA is designed to facilitate the study of cold gas distribution in galaxies and will be a fundamental tool to observe how the Universe came out of the dark years, before the first galaxies began to form.


  1. Inclusion in the ESFRI Infrastructure Roadmap: 2006
  2. Design phase: 2008-2012
  3. Preparation phase: 2012-2017
  4. Intermediate/transition phase: 2018-2019
  5. Implementation/construction phase: 2020-2027
  6. Start of operation: 2027



ILL 20/20 (Institut Max von Laue-Paul Langevin)

The Institut Max von Laue-Paul Langevin, was founded in January 1967 on the initiative of France and Germany, with whom the United Kingdom joined in 1973. Spain was the first country to join the ILL as Associate Scientific Member in 1987.
It is an international research centre at the forefront of neutron science and technology, to support researchers in various fields: pharmacy, biology, chemistry, environment, geology, information and transport technologies, archaeometry and cultural heritage, as well as industry and research in physics, both fundamental and applied. 
The institute has the most intense source of neutrons in the world, dedicated entirely to fundamental research for civil uses, supplying them to a set of high-performance instruments that are constantly developed and updated. Continuous update programs aim to increase signal performance to noise, adapt instrumentation to the changing research environment and offer new innovative techniques. In addition, it houses another 40 high-tech instruments for molecular, atomic and nuclear study of the structure of matter. 
The utilisation time of the reactor is determined by the contribution of the country where they work. In total, some 1,800 researchers from 45 countries use the neutron source for 800 experiments each year. Each year, it hosts more than 3000 visiting scientists from around the world who develop more than 900 experiments. More than 90 % of the experiments are carried out by researchers from institutes, research centres or universities in member countries. The CSIC, in cooperation with the CNRS of France, is responsible for the operation of a diffractometer for polycrystalline samples (instrument CRG-D1B).


  1. Inclusion in the ESFRI Infrastructure Roadmap: 2006
  2. Preparation phase: 2007-2011
  3. Implementation/construction phase: 2011-2019
  4. Start of operation: 2020



HL-LHC (High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider)

The CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the largest and most energy-intensive particle collisioner in the world. LHC experiments (ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb) have produced a large number of prolific results, compiled in more than 2,000 peer-reviewed journal publications. This instrument was designed to collide hadron beams, more exactly of protons, up to 7 TeV of energy, its main purpose being to examine the validity and limits of the Standard Model, the theory that describes elementary particles and their interactions. Within the collider two beams of protons are accelerated in opposite directions to 99.99 % of the speed of light, and are made to collide with each other producing very high energies (although at subatomic scales) that would allow to simulate some events that occurred immediately after the Big Bang. While LHC is capable of producing up to 1 billion proton collisions every second, HL-LHC will increase this figure, known as ‘luminosity’, by a factor 5 or 7, allowing to accumulate 10 times more data. The greater the luminosity, the more data will be able to collect the experiments to facilitate the physical community to investigate infrequent physical phenomena and obtain much more precise measures of the known mechanisms, such as the Higgs boson, as well as being able to observe new strange phenomena that may occur. All this will promote the achievement of new discoveries and the study of the fundamental constituents of nature in an even deeper way.


  1. Inclusion in the ESFRI Infrastructure Roadmap: 2016
  2. Preparation phase: 2014-2017
  3. Implementation/construction phase: 2017-2025
  4. Start of operation: 2026