Project results are expected to contribute to several of the following expected outcomes:
- enhanced scientific competitiveness of European research infrastructures;
- enhanced RI capacities to address research challenges and EU policy priorities;
- foundations for the development of innovative companies;
- increased collaboration of research infrastructures with universities, research organisations and industry;
- increase of the technological level of industries through the co-development of advanced technologies for research infrastructures and creation of potential new markets;
- integration of research infrastructures into local, regional and global innovation systems and promotion of entrepreneurial culture.
The aim of this topic is to deliver innovative scientific instrumentation, tools, methods and solutions which advance the state-of-art of RIs in the EU and Associated Countries, and show transformative potential in RIs operation. The related developments, which underpin the provision of improved and advanced services, should lead research infrastructures to support new areas of research and/or a wider community of users, including industrial users.
Cutting-edge technologies will also enhance the potential of RIs to contribute addressing EU policy objectives and socio-economic challenges.
Proposals should ensure complementarity with actions funded under the previous 2022 call (topic HORIZON-INFRA-2022-TECH-01-01 in the 2021-2022 work programme), targeting different instrumentation, tools, methods and solutions.
Proposals should address the following aspects, as relevant:
- Research and development of new scientific instrumentation, tools and methods for research infrastructures taking into due account resource efficiency (e.g. energy consumption) and environmental (including climate-related) impacts. This could also include the development of new, more sustainable and efficient methods of collecting data and/or of providing access, including remote and digital, as well as digitalisation of instrumentation, services and results;
- their technology validation and prototyping;
- training of RI staff for the operation and use of these new solutions. When relevant, developing skills on technical validation to industrial standards;
- the innovative potential for industrial exploitation of the solutions and/or for the benefits of the society, including facilitating proof of concept for use by SMEs.
Consortia should be built around a leading core of at least 3 world-class research infrastructures, being ESFRI infrastructures, European Research Infrastructures Consortia (ERICs) and/or other world-class research infrastructures of European interest and can include a wider set of RIs. Other technological partners, including industry and SMEs, should also be involved, thus promoting innovation and knowledge sharing through co-development of new technical solutions for research infrastructures.
Proposals may include PCP subcontracting activities as described in part H of the General Annexes of the work programme. This option encourages the use of public procurements for the competitive development of new specific solutions, whilst opening market opportunities for industry and researchers active in the EU and Associated Countries. By establishing the procurement process in consecutive phases, the PCP activity can support the development of competing designs, prototypes, and solution testing. This ensures that investment risks do not prevent tackling specific scientific and technological issues, and allows to approach a problem from different angles and to test different solutions.
In this topic the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content is not a mandatory requirement.
A research infrastructure is of European interest when is able to attract users from EU or associated countries other than the country where the infrastructure is located.
 'Pre-commercial procurement' is defined as procurement of R&D services involving risk-benefit sharing under market conditions and competitive development in phases. PCP focuses on the R&D phase before wide commercialisation.
'Risk-benefit sharing under market conditions' refers to the PCP approach in which procurers share with suppliers at market price the risks and the benefits related to the IPR resulting from the R&D.
'Competitive development in phases' refers to the competitive approach to buy the R&D from several competing R&D providers in parallel and to compare and identify the best value for money solutions on the market to address the PCP challenge. To reduce the investment risk for the procurer, reward the most competitive solutions and facilitate the participation of smaller innovative companies, the R&D is also split into phases (solution design, prototyping, original development and validation / testing of the first products), with the number of competing R&D providers being reduced after each phase.