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World's Biggest Microscope for the Øresund Region

April 03, 2009
New Danish-Swedish Government agreement paves the way for the Øresund Region hosting a new European research facility worth DKK 11 billion.

Photo: Nana Reimers
Today, Friday 3 April, Helge Sander, Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation and Lars Leijonborg, Sweden's Minister for Higher Education and Research signed an agreement on extensive collaboration in the area of research.

The two countries offer the Øresund Region as a site for hosting a new large European research facility known as the European Spallation Source, ESS. It is part of the agreement that Denmark should co-finance 12.5 per cent of the initial costs, equal to about DKK 1.4 billion.

– There are large perspectives in securing ESS for the Øresund Region. A centre of international format will attract the most talented researchers and students, says Helge Sander.
– Besides boosting the education and research environment, ESS will also attract innovative knowledge centres and have a significant and positive impact on business life and innovation throughout the region.

It has not yet been decided where ESS will be located. Besides the Danish-Swedish hosts, Hungary and Spain have also expressed their interest.


Photo: Nana Reimers

With the collaboration agreement in place, Denmark and Sweden will work to ensure that also the other Nordic countries and the Baltic region are included. The objective is for ESS to become a North European project where the Nordic/Baltic countries as a whole offer to finance 50 per cent of the initial costs of about DKK 11 billion. EU will then have to pay the other 50 per cent.

The decision about Danish co-hosting was made by the Government, and the political parties behind the globalisation agreement have given wide support for the agreement with Sweden.

ESS is planned to be ready for operation by 2020 and will then be the world's strongest neutron source – it could also be called the world's largest microscope.

For further comments by Science Minister Helge Sander, please contact Information Manager Allan Boldt, tel.: +45 33 92 97 39, abo@vtu.dk.

For further information about ESS and the Danish-Swedish agreement, please contact the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, Special Consultant Morten Scharff, tel.: +45 72 26 55 30, msc@fi.dk.

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