Season’s Greetings – Address from the Chair of the CERIC General Assembly

Dear CERIC Community,

Also this year I send you the end-of-the-year thoughts in place of our Executive Director, who is still successfully involved in ESFRI until the end of this year.

The year 2023 has provided us with a glimpse of how things can go wrong in the international relationships, with the ongoing war in Ucraine, the growing tensions between the US and China, the inflation and difficulties in international exchanges, and finally the terrorism and reactions in the Israel-Palestinian territories. Already in the previous year, the word “polycrisis” has been introduced and now the ensuing tensions are being felt at all levels. We should hope that, as has been the case for the pandemic, the sources of these tensions will eventually abate, as well as their effects.

As an international organisation, CERIC-ERIC has a position and a duty to act towards increasing the trust and exchanges at international level, and, as a European Institution, must fulfill this duty by stimulating and supporting the collaborations at international level and the evolution towards a more united Europe. As a Research Institution, our scope is to evolve jointly our research capabilities to be able to offer open access and favourable research conditions to researchers coming from anywhere in the world. The results of these activities have been excellent and their quality is still evolving, as is their measurable impact.

In the last few years, CERIC has been enlarging the circle of collaborating Institutions through the definition and setting-up of Associate Facilities, and their contribution, also in terms of scientific knowledge and discussion of how to move forward in our growth, has been very positive.

In 2023, our masters, the Countries who are members of CERIC, have approved a change in the Statute while increasing their commitment to CERIC by introducing, from 2024, cash contributions alongside the in-kind contributions, i.e., the Partner Facilities which are our main asset. This requires a stronger commitment by CERIC-ERIC and the Partner Facilities to evolve an even stronger collaboration and operate as a unified scientific Institution to ensure longer term sustainability. The staff of the Partner Facilities and of the central organisation will be called to move forward in this important effort. We look forward for this, and 2024 will need to be a further step in showing that the research environment is leading the evolution towards a stronger European Community.   

In the meantime, being this the end-of-the year issue, with Jana Kolar and the staff of CERIC, we send you all our best wishes for a Happy and prosperous New Year!

Carlo Rizzuto

Chair of CERIC-ERIC General Assembly