ESS and ILL start joint R&D in neutron science

Today, the European Spallation Source and the Institut Laue-Langevin initiate an extensive collaboration for research and development activities within neutron science.

In a Memorandum of Understanding agreed on today, ILL and ESS set the framework for the future cooperation, which aims at developing joint scientific and technological projects. The ESS will be a world-leading centre for materials research with neutrons and will host the world’s most powerful neutron source. The ILL is an international research centre operating the most intense steady neutron source in the world, and has been the world-leading centre for neutron science and the development of neutron instrument technology for more than 40 years, generating scientific output of high quality.

- It is a great moment when ESS and ILL will now join forces. As a former Director of ILL, I am particularly pleased. I am convinced that ESS and ILL will be able to drive neutron science forward together, and strengthen European science overall, says Colin Carlile, ESS Director-General.

- This collaboration will also allow ESS as a European project to take benefit from ILL’s leading role in neutron science.

The scientific collaboration will cover joint development of neutron scattering instrumentation, beam-line components and neutron optics, as well as development of detector technologies. It will also include joint hosting and organizing of scientific and technical meetings involving the science community.

- I am convinced that the future extensive collaboration between ILL and ESS will be a major step towards maintaining the pre-eminent role of Europe in neutron science well beyond 2020, and helping to meet the grand challenges of our society, explains Richard Wagner, Director of the ILL.

The ILL is based in Grenoble, France, jointly with the synchrotron ESRF, on the European Photon and Neutron Science campus.  Research done at ILL focuses primarily on fundamental science in a variety of fields: condensed matter physics, chemistry, biology, nuclear physics and materials science.  ILL is funded and managed by France, Germany and the United Kingdom, in partnership with 11 other European countries and India.

For more information, please contact:

Colin Carlile, ESS Director-General. E-mail, Tel. 46-(0)46-222 83 02

Marianne Ekdahl, Communications Officer Press & Politics. E-mail, Tel. 46-(0)46-222 83 89

Please also see ESS web site

and the ILL web site


The European Spallation Source – the next generation facility for materials research and life science

The European Spallation Source (ESS) will be a multi-disciplinary research laboratory based on the world’s most powerful neutron source. ESS can be likened to a large microscope, where neutrons are used instead of light to study materials – ranging from polymers and pharmaceuticals to membranes and molecules – to gain knowledge about their structure and function. ESS will be up to 100 times better than existing facilities, opening up new possibilities for researchers in for example health, environment, climate, energy, transport sciences and cultural heritage.

ESS is an intergovernmental research infrastructure project, and it will be built in Lund in southern Scandinavia. At least 17 European countries will take part in the construction, financing and operation of the ESS. Sweden and Denmark will co-host the ESS and cover 50 percent of the 1,4 B€ investment costs and 20 percent of the operating costs together with the Nordic and Baltic states.

The European Spallation Source ESS AB is a public limited company, today owned by the Swedish and the Danish states. ESS AB is currently working on finalizing the ESS technical design, planning the future research at ESS, preparing for construction, and planning the future international ESS organisation. This is done in collaboration with a large number of international research institutes and laboratories. Construction is expected to start in 2013, the first neutrons to be produced in 2019 and the facility to be fully operational around 2025.

ESS is expected to support a user community of at least 5000 European researchers and will have great strategic importance for the development of the European Research Area. Near by there will be complementary laboratories, such as the synchrotron MAX IV in Lund and XFEL and PETRAIII in Hamburg.

About Us

European Spallation Source, ESS, will be a multi-disciplinary research facility based on the world’s most powerful neutron source. The main facility is under construction in Lund, Sweden, with a Data Management and Software Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark, at an investment cost of 1.8 B€. Construction started in 2014. The machine is planned to be ready for first commissioning in 2019 and the user programme for researchers will begin in 2023. The European Spallation Source ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) was established in August 2015 and has 15 member- and observer countries.