May 13

European Commission Establishes Pan-Continental Laser Consortium

The European Commission has officially established the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium, or ERIC. The ERIC is a legal entity formed by an EU regulation specifically for scientific infrastructures. The establishment of the ELI ERIC allows the infrastructure’s facilities in the Czech Republic and Hungary to operate together as one organization. The ELI facilities make up the largest multisite laser facility in the world.

“The decision comes at an important time since the transition to operations is already happening and the interest from scientists is intense,” said Allen Weeks, director general of the ELI Delivery Consortium.

The ELI ERIC facilities are ELI-Beamlines in Dolní Brežany in the Czech Republic, and the ELI-ALPS facility in Szeged, Hungary. They were built at a cost of €300 million each over the last six years, using European structural funds.

A third ELI facility, ELI-NP, is being built near Bucharest, Romania. The facility, focused on the field of nuclear photonics, is expected to join the other two labs in the newly formed organization.