An observatory system like the VLT/I requires careful scientific planning for operations and future instruments. Currently the ESO optical/near-infrared facilities include four 8m telescopes, four (movable) 1.8m telescopes used exclusively for interferometry, two 4m telescopes and two survey telescopes. This system offers a large range of scientific capabilities and setting the corresponding priorities depends good community interactions. Coordinating the existing and planned instrumentation is an important aspect for strong scientific return. The current scientific priorities for the VLT and VLTI are pushing for the development of the highest angular resolution imaging and astrometry, integral field spectroscopy and multi-object spectroscopy. The ESO 4m telescopes on La Silla will be dedicated to time domain spectroscopy and exo-planet searches with highly specialized instruments. The next decade will also see a significant rise in the scientific importance of massive ground and space-based surveys. We discuss how future developments in astronomical research could shape the VLT/I evolution.