Providing around 50 significant infrastructure facilities in 25 countries worldwide
The UK collaborates internationally because many of the challenges that research and innovation infrastructures are helping to solve, such as changing ocean temperatures and moving vast data volumes around the planet, are global in nature.
Some infrastructures can only be sited in certain locations outside the UK. These include the remote, radio-quiet regions or cloud-free skies that astronomy facilities need. Infrastructures can also be very costly and beyond the budget of a single nation. The Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland and its associated experiments have an annual budget of almost a billion pounds. Moreover, such complex infrastructures also require levels of skill and technology that can only be achieved when the international community pools resources and works together.
By playing an active role in all major infrastructure groups and policy forums, the UK maintains its international influence and leadership, and helps shape the future international infrastructure landscape. This includes participation in the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Global Science Forum.
Connecting everything the UK does internationally is a desire to develop the very best people and the very best infrastructures to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges, to advance knowledge and innovation, and to secure a safer, sustainable future for all.