G7 Science Session 3 Statement: Research Infrastructure

Dr. France Córdova at G7 Ministerial on Science in Turin

September 28, 2017
Turin, Italy

(As prepared for delivery)

The United States agrees that maintaining and modernizing research infrastructure is critical to getting the best value out of research and development investments. State-of-the-art research infrastructure provides us with unique capabilities, ensuring that the science and technology workforce has the capabilities it needs to conduct world-leading research.

As we noted in session 2, innovative partnership models involving other agencies, state and local governments, the private sector, academia, and international partners can help maximize utilization of underused facilities and lead to sharing the costs of new R&D facilities.

The United States also recognizes the advantages of a merit-based peer-review system for guiding the funding of research and infrastructure.  We rely heavily on community-driven strategic guidance through external advisory groups, blue ribbon panels, and decadal surveys to help prioritize investments in major infrastructure to ensure we continue to fund the very best and most exciting research opportunities.

The United States extends its gratitude to the members of the Group of Senior Officials for Global Research Infrastructure for their work.

The United States supports the continued efforts of the Group of Senior Officials and looks forward to hosting the GSO meeting in spring 2018.

We support continued data gathering of the Global Research Infrastructures landscape and further refinement of the GSO framework of good practices.

The United States acknowledges the importance of international cooperation in research infrastructures as evidenced by such physics facilities as CERN, LIGO and Virgo, the Sudbury neutrino lab mentioned by Minister Duncan, and the International Ocean Discovery Program mentioned by Dr. Harayama.  Telescopes such as the ALMA observatory in Chile and the dual Gemini telescopes in Hawaii and Chile are returning data that scientists around the globe are using to fuel new discoveries, and CHARS, sited in Canada, will join them in taking new data on the Arctic.

Cyberinfrastructure is increasingly important due to the growth of big data in almost every research field and so NSF and other science agencies are investing in these capabilities.

Infrastructure is not only about the facilities themselves but it is about the researchers who use them.  As part of the US system, we work to ensure merit-based access to this infrastructure and we are pleased that the merit-based approach is included as part of our G7 discussion. We look forward to continued cooperation in the important area of infrastructure.

Thank you.