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Foundation Stone Ceremony Marks Scientific Importance of ESS



Today, several hundred members of the European scientific community are gathering at the European Spallation Source (ESS) construction site in Lund, Sweden, for the ESS Foundation Stone Ceremony. The event is being held to ‘lay the foundation’ both for the new facility, which has recently begun construction, and for a new generation of science in Europe.

ESS is a consortium of European nations cooperating in the design and construction of one of Europe’s largest active infrastructure projects. Today’s event follows the ESS groundbreaking held in early September, when the host countries, Sweden and Denmark, recognised their successful establishment of the pan-European political and economic partnership for ESS.

“ESS is a large-scale Research Infrastructure, which has evolved to meet the scientific demand for facilities that are beyond the capability of individual nations or institutions in scope and complexity”, says Jim Yeck, ESS Director General. “Scientists and engineers from all over the world are involved in the construction of ESS”.

Following on two decades of increasingly sophisticated technical design work, scientists, engineers, project managers and builders have now embarked on the construction of the most powerful neutron source in the world. ESS will provide the tools for analysis that will enable the next important discoveries in nanotechnology, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, materials engineering and experimental physics. It is understood that ESS, both through the research that will be performed there and the establishment of the facility itself, will serve as an economic driver for all of Europe.

“It has taken more than 20 years to reach the point where we are today”, says Yeck. “The construction has started thanks to the dedication of countless people who have contributed with their scientific drive, technological inventiveness and administrative determination. We are very proud to be where we are, but also very well aware of the responsibility we carry”.

First neutrons are expected by 2019 and the first experiments are scheduled to begin in 2023. The cost of ESS is calculated to € 1,843 billion.

For further information, please contact:
Allen Weeks, Head of Communications and External Relations, +46 46 888 31 52.

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