United Kingdom to join European Spallation Source

The United Kingdom is now joining the European Spallation Source project. The UK was welcomed today at a meeting in Bilbao, Spain, by representatives from the current 16 Partner Countries.

The European Spallation Source will be a next generation research facility for materials and life science with neutrons, and it will be built in southern Sweden.

The United Kingdom has recently expressed its official support for the ESS project. Today the ESS Steering Committee, where the current Partner Countries are represented, has decided to welcome the United Kingdom as a new Partner Country.

- I am particularly happy that the UK now joins the project. The UK has a large and strong neutron research community, that will now be able to benefit from the opportunities that ESS can give, says Colin Carlile, the ESS Director-General. There is a vast knowledge of the necessary technology for building a spallation neutron source from the ion source to the instruments in the UK and there will be mutual benefits.

- The UK is an important new partner in the ESS project, says Lars Börjesson, President of the ESS Steering Committee. ESS will benefit from the established UK technical and scientific expertise developed at ISIS neutron source outside Oxford and UK scientists will get direct access to the world’s premier neutron source when it will be ready in 2019.

The United Kingdom has now been invited to join the ESS Steering Committee. The three conditions for membership are recognition of Lund as the site for ESS, participation in the ESS Technical Design Update and a will to start construction in a timely manner.


For more information, please contact:

Colin Carlile, ESS Director-General. E-mail colin.carlile@esss.se, Tel. 46-(0)46-222 83 02

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



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 sixteen 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 planning the future international ESS organisation. Building is expected to start around 2013, the first neutrons to be produced in 2019 and the facility to be fully operational around 2025.

ESS will support a user community of 5000 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. Construction started in 2014 and the user programme for researchers will begin in 2023. The European Spallation Source ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) currently has 15 member- and observer countries.