New Partner strengthens the EIROforum collaboration and the European Research Area

Signing the declaration of accession to the EIROforum: Massimo Altarelli, Chairman of the XFEL Management Board (left) and Francesco Romanelli, Chairman of the EIROforum (right). In the back (left to right): Francesco Sette (ESRF), Felicitas Pauss (CERN), Iain Mattaj (EMBL), Richard Wagner (ILL), Rowena Sirey (ESO) and David Southwood (ESA) 

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At the Autumn 2010Council meeting of the EIROforum, a partnership of seven European intergovernmental research organisations with large research infrastructures, the Directors General unanimously accepted the European X-Ray Free-Electron Laser Facility (European XFEL), based in Hamburg, Germany, to become its eighth member.

The European XFEL is an international research facility supported by Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland. China and Spain expressed their interest in joining by signing a Memorandum of Understanding.

The facility will produce ultra-short X-ray flashes which will enable scientists to map the atomic details of viruses, decipher the molecular composition of cells, take three-dimensional images of the nano-world, film chemical reactions and study processes such as those occurring deep inside planets. The European XFEL is currently under construction, with commissioning being planned for 2014.

Said Francesco Romanelli, the current Chairman of EIROforum: “Together, the EIROforum organisations cover a wide range of scientific disciplines. Since its beginning almost 10 years ago, the partners have developed a wide range of joint activities including training, scientific instrumentation, outreach and education. EIROforum is also active in the field of Science Policy, supporting the construction of the European Research Area. We are pleased to welcome the European XFEL into the EIROforum and look forward to working with our new partner.”

“The European Research Organisations that are presently in EIROforum are bright success stories of European collaboration in science,” said Massimo Altarelli, Chairman of the XFEL Management Board. “The European XFEL has the ambition to become a further success story and looks forward to joining the other organisations to draw upon their experience and, together with them, to strengthen the science basis for a stronger and globally more competitive Europe,” he continued.

The founding members of EIROforum are CERN, EFDA-JET, EMBL, ESA, ESO, ESRF and ILL. They cover the scientific disciplines particle physics, fusion, molecular biology, space research, astronomy and astrophysics, materials science and neutron research.

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