The European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel visited the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) in Dolní Břežany on Thursday, 7 June 2022. The facility is the world’s most advanced high-power laser centre and is celebrating the first year since it was established as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC).
The Czech Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Vladimir Balaš, along with Hungarian State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Innovation, László György, greeted her. The ELI organisation was represented by ELI ERIC General Assembly Chair Caterina Petrillo and ELI ERIC Director General Allen Weeks. The President of the Czech Academy of Sciences Eva Zažímalová also attended the event.
“This visit is important as ELI is the first large research infrastructure hosted in the Central Europe by the EU new Member States,” says Allen Weeks. “That sends a strong signal to scientists in Europe and the region that they can perform world-class science at facilities with those capabilities close to home.”
This visit of Commissioner Gabriel draws attention to how the ELI facilities will enable European competitiveness by retaining and attracting expertise and talent, and increasing the innovation potential of European industry.
The ELI ERIC is an ESFRI Landmark and the first international research infrastructure completely located in the Central Europe and the EU new Member States. It provides access to the international community for experiments in medicine, radiography, fusion energy, environment, materials sciences, nanotechnologies, and biochemistry. Education and training opportunities for young scientists and engineers in lasers and photonics is a key part of the mission.
ELI ERIC will operate as a single multi-site organisation with two complementary facilities specialised in different fields of research with extreme light: ELI Beamlines in Dolní Břežany (Czech Republic) and ELI ALPS in Szeged (Hungary).
The integration of the ELI ERIC facilities into a single organisation is underway and is expected to take place over the next two-to-three years. The merger is being facilitated by a EUR 20 million grant from the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme known as “IMPULSE”.
Click here to view a short video of the event.