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Giant microscope will create unique opportunities for Danish research and business

November 10, 2015
One of the world's largest and most advanced research facilities, the ESS will be established in Lund, Sweden in the coming years. Today, the Minister for Higher Education and Science was presented with a strategic plan for how Denmark can make the most of the ESS.

ESS, or the European Spalla¬tion Source, can be compared to a giant microscope allowing reserarchers to study material at an atomic level. ESS provides new opportunities for research, innovation and business development in Denmark. However, positive benefits will not appear by themselves.  If Denmark is to make the most of the ESS, the research facility needs to attract leading researchers and companies from around the world. For example, four to six spotlight environments should be established within the bio and material sciences fields to centre the interaction between the ESS, the business community and other international material research facilities.

The proposal comes from the strategic group appointed by the former minister for higher education and science last year. The group comprises representatives from universities, the business community, municipalities and regions, and was given the task of developing a strategy for how Denmark can best utilise the potential benefits associated with the ESS.

The strategic group presented its strategy to the Minister for Higher Education and Science Esben Lunde Larsen at an event at Industriens Hus in Copenhagen today.

- The ESS project is a unique chance for Denmark to be part of one of the global centres for research and innovation within the area of development and use of materials. It is therefore important that we have a plan for how we can best utilise the ESS. I look forward to studying the strategy in greater detail, says Minister for Higher Education and Science Esben Lunde Larsen.

The Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) is among the organisations that participated in the strategic group. DI’s Deputy Director General Kim Graugaard says:

- Danish companies can get a head start, while Denmark can also attract global talent and R&D investment from some of the world's leading companies. But it requires us to take a strategic approach to reap the full rewards from the ESS. Now we have a good tool for achieving this.

Arla Foods also participated in the strategic group and its senior R&D manager Henrik Jørgen Andersen says:

- The Danish food production industry views the establishment of the ESS as the first, but hopefully not the last, large strategic research infrastructure venture in Denmark's neighbouring regions, which will help the Danish industrial food complex to significantly contribute to the economy and growth in this country.

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 be 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.

For further information please contact:

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

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

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