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The building of the world’s largest research microscope begins

September 04, 2014
Together with the Swedish Minister for Education, the Minister for Higher Education and Science cut the first sod for the microscope European Spallation Source (ESS) in Lund.

After years of negotiations the building of one of the world’s largest and most advanced research facilities is now in process.

First sodSweden and Denmark are jointly hosting the so-called neutron scattering facility European Spallation Source, ESS which is a gigantic and very powerful microscope. 

The ESS facility will be established in Lund, Sweden and the construction costs are approximately EUR 1.9 billion, almost  DKK 14 billion. Denmark covers 12.5 per cent of the construction costs while Sweden covers 35 per cent. The remaining costs are covered by the 15 European partner countries which are also included in the project. 

The Minister for Higher Education and Science Sofie Carsten Nielsen and her Swedish minister colleague Jan Björklund cut the first sod 2 September 2014. Around 100 guests from the European partner countries and the EU Commissioner participated in the ceremony.

- ESS makes way for a number of new possibilities for Denmark. This involves strengthened research, attraction of the best researchers and knowledge-driven companies and employment of a highly educated workforce. Thus, the hosting can give Danish research a large boost and start a good development for the whole Øresund region and Denmark. It is important to coordinate and decide the direction for the work. Therefore, I will gather universities and the business world so that we can prepare a common strategy for the future Danish ESS effort says Sofie Carsten Nielsen.

ESS will have a yearly budget on about DKK 1 billion. 400-500 employees on the permanent staff and between 2,000 and 5,000 researchers visiting researchers annually.

The microscope is so large and advanced that researchers will be able to see, take images of and film the separate atomic structures and their movements in almost all materials.

Researchers and business will benefit from the ESS when they need to analyse new materials or biological processes to be used in the development of new products. Whether they be wind turbines or mobile telephones or new energy.

The facility is expected to be ready for use by 2019 and be fully operational by 2025.

ESS in Denmark

  • The ESS facility will be established in Lund, Sweden As part of the agreement the ESS Data Management and Software Center, DMSC will be placed in Copenhagen.
  • The Centre will have 65 employees who shall help the researchers analyse and interpret data from the experiments which will be carried out at the ESS facility in Lund.

For further information please contact:

Head negotiator Bo Smith tel. +45 21 69 39 15, e-mail: bosmi@fi.dk

Press and communications adviser, Steen Bruun Jensen tel. +45 41 32 60 30, e-mail: sbj@fi.dk 

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