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Danish-Swedish giant microscope changes status to a true European research facility

September 09, 2015
The Danish-Swedish research microscope, the European Spallation Source (ESS), has changed its legal status to a true European research facility. The Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science has participated in a ceremony in Lund to mark the transition to a common European research infrastruc

The European Commission has approved the transition of the Danish-Swedish research microscope facility ESS to become a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), which means that many European countries will become Members of the facility.

To mark the new status, the Commission held a ceremony in Lund on 8 September, with participation from the Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science Esben Lunde Larsen, his Swedish ministerial counterpart Helene Hellmark Knutsson and the EC Director General  for Research and Innovation Robert-Jan Smits.

- We are proud and grateful that the ESS has such strong support from many European countries. It provides the ESS with the best basis for developing into a world class European research facility, where talented researchers from around the world gather to conduct ground-breaking experiments, says Esben Lunde Larsen.

A research facility with many stakeholders

In addition to Denmark and Sweden, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland and Switzerland are also Founding Members of the ESS. As such, they commit to contributing to the construction and operation of the research facility.

Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom currently have observer status in the ESS and are expected to become Members in the future.

Denmark has an important role

Denmark will continued to be deeply involved in the development of the ESS. For example, several Danish research environments are helping to develop and build the facility and a data centre has been established on the North Campus of the University of Copenhagen to help researchers analyse and interpret data from experiments carried out at the ESS facility in Lund.

About the ESS

  • ESS is a neutron scattering facility, which functions as an extremely large and very advanced microscope.
  • ESS will allow researchers to take very precise images and film sequences of structures and processes that are otherwise hidden under the surface of materials and could compared with X-ray technology.
  • ESS will produce the first neutrons in 2019 and is expected to be fully completed by 2025.
  • It is expected that between 2000 and 3000 researchers will visit the ESS annually to carry out experiments.
  • The ESS was originally established as a Danish-Swedish limited liability corporation. It has now transitioned to a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC).

For further information please contact:

Head negotiator Bo Smith tel. +45 2169 3915, e-mail: bosmi@fi.dk

Press and communications adviser, Steen Bruun Jensen tel. +45 7231 8216, e-mail: sbj@fi.dk

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