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ESS Organisation

The European Spallation Source ERIC is a joint European organisation committed to building and operating the world's leading facility for research using neutrons.

Our vision is to build and operate the world’s most powerful neutron source, enabling scientific breakthroughs in research related to materials, energy, health and the environment, and addressing some of the most important societal challenges of our time.

To do this, we commit to deliver ESS as a facility that:

  • Is built safely, on time and on budget
  • Produces research outputs that are best-in-class both in terms of scientific quality and in terms of socioeconomic impact
  • Supports and develops its user community, fosters a scientific culture of excellence and acts as an international scientific hub
  • Operates safely, efficiently and economically, and responds to the needs of its stakeholders, its host states and member states
  • Develops innovative ways of working, new technologies, and upgrades to capabilities needed to remain at the cutting edge
  1. Excellence
    We provide the world’s leading neutron science facility and world-class support for the science community. We advance the use of neutrons in science and technology by supporting and developing instrumentation and tools for the highest quality application of neutrons in research. We always aim for scientific, technical and operational excellence in the safest environment.

  2. Collaboration
    We are an integral member of European society and engage with the scientific and industrial communities to help build and operate ESS. In our everyday work and all our interactions, we seek to build and maintain relationships that create a shared sense of ownership among our stakeholders. Internally and externally we are committed to act and speak with one voice, as one ESS.
  3. Openness
    We perform our work in an open and transparent manner. In this way we build trust with our partners, our stakeholders and with each other. We are willing to collectively and directly address challenges and celebrate success. We demonstrate on all levels, internally and externally, that we stand for what we say in the way we act.
  4. Sustainability
    We act and make decisions with a long-term perspective and strive to safely and responsibly use natural, human and monetary resources. We take the full life cycle of ESS into account, and view sustainability from environmental, social and economic perspectives.

The European Spallation Source ERIC

The European Spallation Source became a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) on 1 October 2015. 

The ERIC legal framework was created by the European Commission in 2009 to facilitate the joint establishment and operation of pan-European research infrastructures like ESS. The European Spallation Source operated as a Swedish limited partnership, or AB, owned jointly by the Swedish and Danish governments from 2010 until 30th September 2015.

The Founding Members of the European Spallation Source ERIC are the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.


ESS is organised under the European Commission's ERIC legal framework. The ESS Council is the organisation's highest governing body.

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The ESS project is supported by a number of independent advisory committees who report to the European Spallation Source ERIC Council.

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A Pan-European Project

ESS is currently under construction in Lund, Sweden, and the Data Management and Software Centre (DMSC) is based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The international orientation of ESS can be seen throughout the entire organisation. The Lund-based staff now includes employees from nearly 50 different nations.

To succeed in its mission, ESS relies also on the expertise of its Partners from across Europe, and also from other areas of the globe. The European Spallation Source has a large network of laboratories to exchange knowledge, personnel and experience with, and that in many cases will contribute directly to the project through In-Kind Contributions (IKCs). These IKCs are expected to finance more than 35% of the total €1.843 billion (2013) construction costs.

When the ESS User Programme begins, an estimated two to three thousand visiting scientists will come to ESS annually to perform experiments. Most users will be based at European universities and institutes, and others within Industry.