Available translations: English

We endorse UK Research and Innovation’s definition of research and innovation infrastructures:

"Facilities, resources and services that are used by the research and innovation communities to conduct research and foster innovation in their fields. They include: major scientific equipment or sets of instruments, knowledge-based resources such as collections, archives and scientific data, e-infrastructures, such as data and computing systems and communication networks, and any other tools that are essential to achieve excellence in research and innovation."

Types of assets

This definition embraces different kinds of infrastructure assets:

UKRI definition UKCEH examples
Large-scale physical research facilities, equipment and sets of instruments
  • Environmental observatories
  • Environmental experiment platforms
  • Analytical laboratories
Networks of technologies and e-infrastructures, including data and computing systems and communication networks
  • Digital computing, data and modelling platforms
Knowledge-based resources, including scientific collections, samples, cultures and archives
  • Discovery collections and archives



Included Excluded
Science infrastructures consistent with the UKRI definition and characteristics (see above).  
Science infrastructures owned, partly owned and operated by UKCEH. Science infrastructures owned and operated by other organisations.
Science infrastructures supporting long-term research and / or multiple projects.  Science infrastructures dedicated to a single, time-limited project. 



UKCEH infrastructures are sometimes owned or operated in partnership with other actors such as the UK Met Office, government agencies and devolved government agencies, universities, research institutes, landowners and charities. They are often operated as part of wider national and international networks of infrastructures.