• Lund to Host  1.3 Billion Euro Research Centre

News & Views

Lund to Host 1.3 Billion Euro Research Centre

Jul 07 2009

EU Research ministers voted in favour of Sweden being home to the world’s most powerful neutron source during a Meeting in Brussels (May 28) in which seven countries voted in support of Lund’s bid to host the European Spallation Source (ESS), with a further two voting with the majority. The other bids were submitted by Debrecen, in Hungary, and Bilbao, in Spain. The new centre will enable scientists to study the atomic and molecular arrangement of a huge range of materials at a level of detail never before achieved. Costing in the region of €1.3bn, the ESS will surpass facilities currently in operation in Japan and the US, and will allow Europe to reclaim its status as world leader in neutron science.

The chosen site, in Lund, will form part of a vast science network, close to Scandinavia’s largest university and near to the proposed MAX IV laboratory, a state-of-the-art synchrotron light research facility. It will also be close to the Ideon Science Park, which hosts more than 250 innovation-based start-up companies.

Professor Bob Cywinski, of Huddersfield University in the UK, is spokesman for the EU FP7-funded ESS Preparatory Phase Project, set up to move the ESS project towards construction. He says: “This announcement is fantastic news. The endorsement of Lund’s bid by the EU’s research ministers means this project now has a mandate to move forward to the final planning stages. his project has a long history and all three sites which competed to host the ESS put forward very credible bids. On balance, the Lund site has been chosen because it is best suited to deliver the ESS that Europe wants.”

Peter Allenspach, Chairman of the European Neutron Scattering Association (ENSA), which represents Europe’s neutron scattering societies, said "The European neutron scattering community has been patiently waiting for many years for an indication of some political progress towards the construction of what will be Europe’s, and the world’s, premier neutron facility. This site decision is welcomed as the first major step on the road to securing ESS for the benefit of all of European science and technology. ENSA congratulates the Lund team on their success.” A core group of European countries interested in owning and operating the facility must now establish a formal agreement with the host country and commit the funds and resources necessary to make the ESS a reality.


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