Activities and milestones in the course of the project

1. Inventory and Analysis

Cartography of scientific and economic strengths and potential in the Upper Rhine region The researchers will create an inventory of the research structures and the terms and conditions for accessing them. They will then use the information they have collected as a basis for analyzing the strengths, weaknesses, and specific characteristics of research on the Upper Rhine.
Prospective study for establishing a research infrastructure (RI) on the Upper Rhine and benchmark The researchers will conduct a prospective study to identify research trends, potential future needs, and conditions for research on the Upper Rhine. They will compare the scientific and economic potential and the distinctive regional characteristics of research on the Upper Rhine with those of other regions in Europe and the world. This will serve first of all as a means of determining what constitutes good practice. In addition, the benchmark will also provide a way to identify a unique selling point for the Upper Rhine region that can serve as a means of positioning the research infrastructure.
Impact assessment and financial analysis The work described above will be taken as a basis for an impact assessment on the potential influence of a cross-border RI on research, the economy, the environment, and society in the TMO. The aim of the impact assessment study (including a financial analysis) will be to identify the nature and extent of the positive and negative changes the various scenarios of establishing a large-scale research infrastructure on the Upper Rhine would bring about.
Consultation with stakeholders Every working group will organize workshops with various stakeholders (researchers and companies) to discuss specific needs and possible scenarios.

2. Digital Database

This measure will involve compiling all results obtained in the previous steps and creating a mask enabling a harmonized display of the results from the different countries. Moreover, it will include the development of filter mechanisms for facilitating access to searched information on the online tool. A service provider will then be engaged to develop the digital database.

3. Scenario Planning for the Large-Scale Research Infrastructure

Analysis of the results and selection of the preferred scenario: The scenarios that seem most appropriate for research and innovation on the Upper Rhine will be selected at a retreat (attended by representatives from research and industry). On this occasion, the leaders of the working groups will present the results of the previous steps. Various working methods (mind maps, brainstorming) will be used to structure the joint decision-making process in the best possible way, taking into account scientific and economic strengths and potential on the one hand and feasibility, i.e., efficiency and costs, on the other.
Concept study: A research institute will be entrusted with the task of analyzing the scenarios selected during the retreat with regard to structure, funding, and management. The institute will be supervised by the researchers from the working groups, who will monitor the provisional content and the progress made on the study at regular intervals.

4. Roadmap Development

At the conclusion of the project, a roadmap detailing the further procedure for establishing a large-scale research infrastructure on the Upper Rhine will be drawn up.