Trans-National Access (TNA) has been a key component of all of the previous EU sponsored Integrating Activities under FP5, FP6 and FP7 for enable open access to these key research infrastructures for proposals based upon their scientific merit only. Most recently under FP7 the three key Integrating Activity (IA) Projects have been firstly BioStruct-X for biological sciences, protein crystallography (PX), macromolecular crystallography (MX) and small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) using synchrotron radiation (SR) sources; the second IA Project has been CALIPSO for the physical, chemical and materials sciences access to both SR and Free Electron Laser (FEL) sources; the third project has been NMI3 for access to neutron and muon beams for both life and physical sciences investigations.
Trans-National Access through these IA programs have allowed users from all member nations within Europe, especially those without such facilities within their borders such as Ireland, to access centralised funds administered through these projects to either participate directly in their proposed experiments at, or otherwise to send samples for their proposed measurements, to these key research infrastructures to the benefit of the science, the facilities and the community and the EU as a whole.
The European Synchrotron User Organisation (ESUO) have noted that the first Horizon 2020 Research Infrastructures Integrating Activities has been well intentioned but too fragmented among thematic areas via individual “spotlights” on these areas. Thus the combined SR & FEL facilities have not been able to respond to this first call with a proposal sufficiently inclusive of the user community as a whole. This has been detailed in their recently published letter to the Journal of Synchrotron Radiation.
The ESUO, representing over 25000 photon science users, has brought out a new manifesto urging both the commission and each member countries representatives on the EU Horizon 2020 Research Infrastructures panel to reconsider and the ESUO propose a return to a broader “floodlight” approach to broadly illuminate scientific activity not only in the thematic areas but in all areas of sufficient scientific merit.