The European Spallation Source Changes Legal Status as the First ERIC in Scandinavia

ERIC Plate Celebration.
The European Spallation Source marked an important milestone today at the construction site in Lund. Now the organisation is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), a type of legal entity created by the European Commission for governing international research facilities.
Above: A construction site tour was conducted before the ERIC Plate Celebration. From left, ESS Director General Jim Yeck, EC Director-General for Research & Innovation Robert-Jan Smits, legal counsel to the EC's DG Research & Innovation Paul Tuinder, Skanska Project Director Dan-Magnus Skjöld, ESS Head of Conventional Facilities Kent Hedin, and Danish Minister of Higher Education and Research Esben Lunde Larsen. PHOTO: ESS
The European Commission's Director-General for Research and Innovation, Robert-Jan Smits handed over the official ‘plates’ of the ERIC from the Commission to ESS. He was joined by the Swedish Research Minister Helene Hellmark Knutsson, and her Danish counterpart Esben Lunde Larsen, as well as representatives from the partner countries.
The European Spallation Source is the first ERIC established in Scandinavia and the eleventh in Europe. The establishment of the European Spallation Source ERIC provides ESS with legal status in all the Member Countries, enabling them to participate in the governance and directly contribute to financing ESS.
“The European Spallation Source is one of the most impressive European Research Infrastructures and has obtained the prestigious ERIC status,” says Robert-Jan Smits, the European Commission Director-General for Research and Innovation. “The timely completion of ESS enables Europe to maintain its position as the leader in neutron-based research and provides a multidisciplinary centre for innovation and competitiveness.”
The ERIC Plate handover. From left, Esben Lunde Larsen, Robert-Jan Smits, Jim Yeck, Chair of the European Spallation Source ERIC Council Lars Börjesson, and Swedish Research Minister Helene Hellmark Knutsson. PHOTO: ESS
The new facility is the world's next-generation neutron source and one of the highest priority research infrastructure projects in Europe. The EU has approved projects for ESS under its Horizon 2020 programme for €20 million. The project BrightnESS includes 18 European institutes and universities from 11 countries, over 36 months. It includes the Universities of Lund and Copenhagen, as well as CERN in Switzerland.
“Now we launch a new phase of the pan-European Partnership that is ESS, with an emphasis on the shared ownership of the project and the facility,” says Jim Yeck, ESS Director General. “The additional support through BrightnESS and other Horizon 2020 projects demonstrates the level of priority and commitment to making ESS a success.”
The European Commission confirmed the establishment of the European Spallation Source as an ERIC formally in mid-August, and the decision took effect as of the 31st of August. The Founding Members are the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland. Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom joined as Founding Observer Countries and plan to become Members in the near future. Greece also has indicated a wish to become an observer.
The European Spallation Source ESS AB was originally established as a Swedish limited liability corporation, owned by the Swedish and Danish governments. Now that company will complete a transfer of assets, obligations and personnel to European Spallation Source ERIC by October 1, 2015, and will be closed after 2015. 

Press Kit

Please download the European Spallation Source ERIC Plate Celebration Press Kit. The folder includes:

  • the official ESS press release (in English and Swedish)
  • the event programme
  • information about speakers
  • more information about European Spallation Source ERIC (in English and Swedish)
  • a fact sheet concerning BrightnESS
  • the ESS Activity Report
  • general information about ESS (in English and Swedish)
  • recent aerial photos of the construction site [Photo credit: Perry Nordeng]
  • visualisations of the completed facility [Image credit: ESS]

More photos from the event can be downloaded below as they become available.


Event Photos

► PRESS PHOTO PACK [Photo credit: ESS]

Please comms [at] (subject: ERIC%20Plate%20celebration) (contact us) if you require higher resolution photos.



ERIC Plate Celebration Press Kit
Press Photo Pack
8 September 2015, 10:00 – 13:00
ESS Construction Site, Conference Room Pacific
10:00 Welcome
                  James H. Yeck, Director-General, European Spallation Source ERIC
                  Prof. Dr. Lars Börjesson, Chairman of the European Spallation Source ERIC Council
10:20 Messages of Congratulations
                  Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Swedish Minister for Higher Education and Research
                  Dr. Esben Lunde Larsen, Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science
                  Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission
11:00 The Handing-Over of the ERIC Plate
11:15 Meeting with the Press
                  1:1 media interviews
            In parallel Guided bus tour of ESS construction site for all guests
11:45/12:00 Lunch
13:00 End of Event