The existing Critical Infrastructure (CI) of Europe in the water, energy, urban and transport sector is facing major challenges because of pressures such as climate change, extreme weather, geo-hazards, aging and increased usage in combination with pivotal changes in the CI to meet long-term societal goals (e.g. energy transition). To address these challenges, scientific research and innovative solutions are needed that can only be achieved by an interdisciplinary, cross-boundary approach and by equipping expert teams with the most advanced suite of physical research infrastructure available that allows them to work across spatial scales, explore different theories that describe the pressures and adopt innovative techniques for solutions.
The GEOLAB Research Infrastructure (RI) consists of 11 unique installations in Europe aimed to study subsurface behavior and the interaction with structural CI elements (e.g. a bridge) and the environment. The overarching aim of GEOLAB is to integrate and advance these key national research infrastructures towards a one-stop-shop of excellent physical research infrastructure for performing ground-breaking research and innovation to address challenges faced by the Critical Infrastructure of Europe.
The Project will achieve
Efficient, standardized data exchange between the research installations
Re-use of open experiment data sets
Reinforced partnerships with industry, academia and stakeholders
New users attracted to the Research Infrastructure
Innovation of the GEOLAB-RI modelling and measurement capabilities
Effective research and innovation across scales and disciplines
During Transnational Access (TA), users outside the consortium gain access to the GEOLAB installations to perform research and innovation. The scientific research community will use the innovative capabilities of GEOLAB to perform ground-breaking experiments. For CI managers and policy makers, the activities will result in a more comprehensive understanding of the challenges facing CI and evidence to base decision making upon. The construction industry will use GEOLAB to proof innovative solutions for the CI and so gain more leadership in the industrial and enabling technologies.
There will be close interaction with Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) that develop user-friendly engineering software from numerical modelling advances which are validated in the TA projects. We will explicitly challenge SME on sensing, new materials and other niches for innovative solutions, which will have spinoff in other fields of application, contributing to the competitiveness of Europe.
Networking Activities are another core element of GEOLAB, culminating in workshops and other outreach events that foster a digital and In Real Life community, thereby providing a productive channel to communicate with different stakeholder groups.