“Lithuania recognises the importance of ELI for the advancement of laser science and technology, and we are committed to continuing our support and contributions to its success,” said Vice-Minister Gintautas Jakštas.
The meeting provided an opportunity to tour Vilnius University, the Center for Physical Sciences and Technology, and the EKSPLA Campus. A workshop on Laser Particle Accelerators followed, encouraging an interactive dialogue between over 70 participants of the Lithuanian scientific community.
“Lithuania is a long-term partner and an important member of ELI ERIC,” said Director General, Allen Weeks. “Their strong laser manufacturing industry and commitment to cooperation between academia and industry has contributed significantly to the success of the laser science community.”
Another key agenda point was the initial operations phase and the integration of the ELI Beamlines and ELI ALPS Facilities into the ELI ERIC. The goal is to operate the high-power laser facilities as a unified organisation with a single governance and common management structure. The ELI Beamlines Facility, with 350 staff and assets, merged legally and organisationally into ELI ERIC at the beginning of 2023.
The focus now shifts to the integration of ELI ALPS, expected to take place at the beginning of 2024. The proposed approach is for ELI ERIC to operate that facility through majority ownership in a Hungarian corporation.
“[That] will provide a seamless transition and efficient operation of the ELI ERIC in Hungary from the outset,” said Deputy State Secretary László Bodis. “This integration model can effectively minimise administrative and legislative difficulties, ensuring the success of ELI ERIC in a reasonable time frame.”
ELI ERIC is also expanding its membership with other countries, including enhanced cooperation with Poland and Switzerland. The General Assembly also confirmed the organisation’s Scientific Evaluation Policy. This will help monitor the scientific progress of the facilities.
In summary, the 7th ELI ERIC General Assembly meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania, focused on integrating Facilities and scientific progress, showcasing Lithuania’s contributions and commitment to ELI ERIC’s success.