Agreement over european research facility, ESS – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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03 April 2009

Agreement over european research facility, ESS

Denmark and Sweden have signed an agreement over Danish co-hostship of a large European research facility, ESS, which the two countries wish to have placed in the Oresund region.

ESS - European Spallation Source, is a european accelerator project, which will be the world's most powerful neutron source for research in materials from membranes and molecules to magnetic materials and super conductors, technology, for example, for the storage of hydrogen energy and research into all types of surfaces.

It is an international project like CERN in Switzerland and there are three countries who are vying for the project. They each propose a location either in Debrecen in Hungary, Bilbao in Northern Spain or Lund in Sweden.

Sweden's Minister of Higher Education and Research Lars Leijonborg and Denmark's Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Helge Sander signed an agreement today for the Danish co-hostship of ESS, which the two countries are working to have placed in Lund and in the Oresund region. Sweden will contribute 30 percent of the building expenses and Denmark will contribute 12½ percent, which amounts to 1,4 billion kr.

Great boost to research
"The new agreement is a fantastic step forward towards the project being placed in Lund", declares John Renner Hansen, who is the Head of Institute at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen. "Moreover, several other countries have also pointed to Lund as the location due to the strong university environments, numerous companies in the area, which could have an interest in the research facility and good transportation possibilities, so there is now a very good foundation for placing the project in Lund and that would give a great boost to the level of research in many fields", explains John Renner Hansen.

ESS will be a world-class research facility and the governments of the two countries predict that it will have a very positive effect, both in terms of research and education in the Oresund region and for Sweden and Denmark in general. At the same time, an IT-center will be built, which will be located at Nørre Campus in Copenhagen and will provide 65 new IT-work positions.

It is expected that final decision over the location of the research facility will be made before July 1st this year.