Founding Members Sign Charter Establishing Neutron Source Consortium LENS

lens signing
Signing of the LENS charter in Vienna, September 12, 2018. From left: Arve Holt (IFE), Tamás Belgya (BNC), Eric Eliot (LLB), Helmut Schober (ILL), John Womersley (ESS), Christof Neidermeyer (PSI), Stephen Förster (MLZ) and Philip King (ISIS). PHOTO: ESS

VIENNA—Representatives of eight European research infrastructures, including the European Spallation Source (ESS), signed the charter of the League of advanced European Neutron Sources, or LENS, today. The ceremony was held during ICRI2018, the International Conference of Research Infrastructures. 

The signing marks the establishment of a new strategic consortium of European neutron source facilities with the aim, according to the charter, to “facilitate any form of discussion and decision-making process that has the potential to strengthen European neutron science via enhanced collaboration among the facilities”. 

Europe has achieved global leadership in neutron science, serving a broad community of more than 5,000 researchers.

Speaking at the event, Jean-David Malo of the European Commission’s D-G for Research and Innovation welcomed the creation of the LENS consortium for more impactful and open European neutron science.

“The LENS consortium objectives are well aligned with the long-term sustainability plan for Research Infrastructures of the Commission,” he said.

Jean-David Malo of the European Commission speaking at the launch of LENS in Vienna, September 12, 2018.


The founding members of the consortium include both European and national facilities in France, Germany, Sweden, Hungary, the United Kingdom, Norway and Switzerland. Other qualifying facilities are invited to join at any time.

“The LENS declaration demonstrates the strong desire and commitment of the neutron facilities to jointly maintain Europe's leadership in this important research area,” said ESS Director General John Womersley, also speaking at the event. “The consortium will provide an effective framework to manage and promote the coordinated development of these research infrastructures as we approach the start of operations at ESS.”

The establishment of LENS comes at a key moment of transition and optimism in European neutron science, and places particular emphasis on the interaction between the neutron science user communities and funding organizations. By optimising resources and closely aligning policies among partners, the LENS vision is one of continuous improvement and adaptation by neutron source facilities to the communities they serve.

Banding together to shape the future

Solving the grand challenges facing our societies often requires the development of new high-performance materials. Tailor-made materials and material systems are required for the advancement of all key technologies, from information technology and renewable energy concepts, to safer and more environmentally friendly transport systems and life-saving medical applications. Probing materials with neutrons stands as one of the pillars of the analytical techniques in this chain of discovery. 

Neutron-based analytical facilities, therefore, are used in numerous disciplines across the entire range of science and technology development, and generate a high socio-economic impact. Europe has achieved global leadership in this field, serving a very broad scientific community of more than 5,000 researchers by providing them with more than 32,000 instrument days at neutron scattering facilities.

LENS Founding Members:

  • Budapest Neutron Centre logo

    Budapest Neutron Centre

  • ESS outline logo (blue on white)

    European Spallation Source
    Sweden / Denmark

  • Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum

  • ILL logo

    Institut Laue-Langevin


  • Institute for Energy Technology

  • isis neutron and muon logo

    ISIS Neutron & Muon Source
    United Kingdom

  • llb logo

    Laboratoire Léon Brillouin

  • Paul Scherrer Institute