1 July 2021
On June 30th, 2021, the ESFRI Forum included RESILIENCE, of which the Apeldoorn Theological University is a part, in the Research Infrastructure Roadmap 2021. This means that RESILIENCE will take its place in the strategic Research Infrastructures for the European Research Area and that it can work on the further development of the Research Infrastructure for Religious Studies.
The first initiatives to build a Research Infrastructure date back to 2016, which finally led to the launch of RESILIENCE in September 2019. RESILIENCE has since worked on the design of a sustainable European infrastructure for all Religious Studies. This design has now proven to be mature and was successfully evaluated by the ESFRI forum, allowing RESILIENCE to take its place in the strategic Research Infrastructures for the European Research Area.
Characteristic in the infrastructure design is that it includes physical as well as digital access to knowledge about religion. Via this infrastructure, academics who are working in the broad field of Religious Studies will be supported in many ways: they will be able, among other things, to access more resources, to enhance their digital skills, to participate in projects, to promote their research, and to build a professional network. Also other professionals, such as those working in galleries, libraries, archives and museums, policy makers, and representatives of religious communities can benefit from the knowledge offered by RESILIENCE.
The placement in the ESFRI Roadmap 2021 assures that the 13 consortium partners (including TUA), coordinated by the Italian research institution FSCIRE, take the next step. This next step will be the development of the preparation phase, such as ensuring the finances and distribution of tasks among the partners. The new Research Infrastructure is intended to support its users for at least 34 years.
The news of the ESFRI decision was received with great joy and gratitude by FSCIRE and all the consortium partners. All institutions are grateful to the national ministries and delegates for their support.
Prof. Herman Selderhuis, rector of the Theological University of Apeldoorn: "I am very happy with this news that is a sign of appreciation for the dedication and quality of the TUA and also presents us with an exciting challenge. At the same time I want to emphasize that this decision is of great importance not only for us in Apeldoorn but for all Dutch research on theology and religion."