21 Mar 2022

Towards Joint Operations: Achievement of Operating Agreements and Approval of Procurement Policy

Joint operations are ramping up with the Operating Agreements between ELI ERIC and the ELI ERIC Facilities (ELI ALPS and ELI Beamlines) going into effect and plans for the first ELI ERIC User Call moving forward. Additionally, the ELI ERIC Procurement Policy and Procurement Rules were approved.

The 4th ELI ERIC General Assembly (GA) meeting took place on 16-17 March at ELI ALPS in Szeged, Hungary and addressed critical operational, financial, legal, and scientific topics. Besides considerations of key statutory policies, the programme also featured updates of the ELI ALPS and ELI Beamlines facilities’ status, financial reporting, enlargement and new member activities. A facility tour of ELI ALPS was organised, including a visit to the experimental halls.

“We welcome the opportunity to host the ELI ERIC General Assembly at ELI ALPS,” says Prof. Dr. Gábor Szabó, ELI ALPS Managing Director. “We are proud to showcase our laboratories and demonstrate the progress made at ELI ALPS.”

With the Operating Agreements between ELI ERIC and the ELI ERIC Facilities going into effect the legal basis for the facilities to operate as a single integrated organisation is established. These will be realised with the first joint ELI ERIC User Call this year and the planned integration of ELI Beamlines by 2023.

“Due to the complex nature of the organisation the integration will require a lot of work,” says ELI Beamlines Managing Director, Roman Hvězda. “But with the support of all parties involved we are confident that we can achieve this together.”

Following the endorsement by the ELI ERIC Administration and Finance Committee (AFC), the Procurement Policy and Rules were approved by the GA. The Procurement Policy is the governing document for the contracting of all goods, works or services and a core statutory policy. As an international organisation, ELI ERIC can adopt its own procurement rules to ensure they are suited to the overall mission while preserving the legitimate public interests. ELI will adhere to the principles of economy, expediency, and efficiency while respecting the EU principles of transparency, proportionality, mutual recognition, equal treatment and non-discrimination.

“Getting the core policies in place is fundamental for ELI ERIC operations,” says Caterina Petrillo, General Assembly Chair. “These initial policies and processes will be instrumental in organising the convergence of the ELI Facilities during the transition phase.

As a result of the meeting, the GA also unanimously elected Dr. Gediminas Račiukaitis, Head of Department of Laser Technologies at the Center for Physical Sciences and Technology of Lithuania, as Vice-Chair from the next GA meeting in June onwards. Additionally, the establishment of an ELI ERIC Ethical Advisory Committee (EAC) was agreed on.