21 Nov 2016

Towards the international user community – ELI’s Partners meeting

The Extreme Light Infrastructure project (ELI) is close to the transition between the construction and the operation phases. ELI will be the world’s first international laser research infrastructure, pursuing unique science and research applications.  To strengthen and further broaden ELI’s partnerships, the 2nd Partners Meeting was held in Romania on 16-17 November, and was hosted by ELI Nuclear Physics, the Romanian pillar of ELI.

The event was dedicated to the presentation of the progress in the implementation of the project to present and prospective Partners and future Users of the ELI-European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ELI-ERIC).

During the two days, the participants could hear during intensive and fruitful exchanges about the status of the ELI-ERIC application, the user access policies and got an overview about the construction status, the equipment available at the three pillars and the plans for first day experiments. The parallel implementation phase of the three pillars will be substituted by a joint operation after the creation of the ELI-ERIC. According to the plans, the construction of all ELI pillars will be ended by 2019. After testing and demonstration of the experimental capabilities the full operation can start from 2019-2020. The access policy to ELI intends to ensure the attraction of the best scientific users and the generation of excellent scientific results – Prof. Carlo Rizzuto, Director General of ELI-DC, said. He also emphasized that research is not an economic activity, so instead of speaking about business, in this environment is probably better to speak about sustainability. The sustainability should be secured by having excellent quality of its capabilities and its ‘service’, allowing the national and international research communities to commit the participation of their governments – said Prof. Rizzuto.

Besides the implementation and ERIC achievement status, the representatives of present members of ELI-DC and of potential members of ELI-ERIC, presented the membership status and the possible ideas of partner facilities in their countries. France, Lithuania, Germany, Switzerland, the UK – are some examples of the countries that are interested in ELI. These partnerships can involve not only performing experiments, but also joint technological development, training and ‘mind-sharing’ as well. The completely new research opportunities offered by ELI might attract users from all around the world, and our aim for the future is to build up a strong ELI international user community.