Foundation Stone Ceremony Marks Scientific Importance of ESS

Today, several hundred members of the European scientific community are gathering at the European Spallation Source (ESS) construction site in Lund, Sweden, for the ESS Foundation Stone Ceremony. The event is being held to ‘lay the foundation’ both for the new facility, which has recently begun construction, and for a new generation of science in Europe.
ESS is a consortium of European nations cooperating in the design and construction of one of Europe’s largest active infrastructure projects. Today’s event follows the ESS groundbreaking held in early September, when the host countries, Sweden and Denmark, recognised their successful establishment of the pan-European political and economic partnership for ESS.
“ESS is a large-scale Research Infrastructure, which has evolved to meet the scientific demand for facilities that are beyond the capability of individual nations or institutions in scope and complexity”, says Jim Yeck, ESS Director General. “Scientists and engineers from all over the world are involved in the construction of ESS”.
Following on two decades of increasingly sophisticated technical design work, scientists, engineers, project managers and builders have now embarked on the construction of the most powerful neutron source in the world. ESS will provide the tools for analysis that will enable the next important discoveries in nanotechnology, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, materials engineering and experimental physics. It is understood that ESS, both through the research that will be performed there and the establishment of the facility itself, will serve as an economic driver for all of Europe.
“It has taken more than 20 years to reach the point where we are today”, says Yeck. “The construction has started thanks to the dedication of countless people who have contributed with their scientific drive, technological inventiveness and administrative determination. We are very proud to be where we are, but also very well aware of the responsibility we carry”.
First neutrons are expected by 2019 and the first experiments are scheduled to begin in 2023. The cost of ESS is calculated to € 1.843 billion.
For further information, please contact:
Julia Öberg, Press Officer, +46 721 79 23 11, julia.oberg [at]">julia.oberg [at]

"One Europe - One ESS" Partner Video

One of the most talked about moments of the Foundation Stone Ceremony was the debut of the film, “One Europe – One ESS”, which was produced as a collaborative effort by 26 institutions together with ESS. You can watch it here.

Press Kit

Please download the ESS Foundation Stone Ceremony Press Kit, including the press release, photos, speaker bios, scientific information about ESS, and more.

Replay Live Webcast

You can watch the programme in its entirety here



Images and video from the event can be downloaded here. All download links can also be found at the bottom of the page. All images and video provided courtesy of ESS.

Click on the aerial image of the ESS construction site to see it at full size.



Please comms [at] (contact us) if you require a pro-res version.



Please comms [at] (contact us) if you require higher resolution photos.

One Europe—One ESS
FSC Press Kit, 43 MB, ZIP
FSC Live Stream
ESS site aerial view, 4.55 MB, JPG
ESS FSC Video Excerpt, 178 MB, MOV
ESS FSC Press Photo Pack, 78 MB, ZIP



Foundation Stone Ceremony (ESS Construction Site)
Odarslövsvägen 113, Lund-Brunnshög
13:00 Opening
—Lisa Kirsebom, Moderator
Welcome and Speeches
James H. Yeck, Director General and CEO, ESS
Prof. Lars Börjesson, Chairman of the ESS Steering Committee, Vice President of Chalmers University and Professor of Condensed Matter Physics
Prof. John Womersley, Chairman of ESFRI,
CEO of Science and Technology Facilities Council, UK
14:00 Laying the Foundation
14:30 Reception and on-site tours
15:30 Shuttle service to Medicon Village
ESS Science Symposium (Inspira Restaurant, Medicon Village)
Scheelevägen 2, 223 63 Lund
16:00 Welcome
—Prof. Dr. Christiane Alba-Simionesco, Director of Laboratoire Léon Brillouin
16:10 Enabling progress in the 21st century with the European Spallation Source—Prof. Dr. Dimitri N. Argyriou, Director of Science, ESS
16:30 Room-temperature superconductors and the ESS
—Prof. Dr. Nicola Spaldin, Professor of Materials Theory, ETH Zürich
17:00 Structure and function of membrane proteins and beyond—Prof. Poul Nissen, PhD, Director of the Danish Research Institute of Translational Neuroscience (DANDRITE) & Centre 
for Membrane Pumps in Cells and Disease (PUMPkin)
17:30 Research on engineering materials at ESS: Why do we need BEER?
—Prof. Dr. Andreas Schreyer, Director of GEMS, Institute of Materials Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
18:00 Reception

19:30 Closing of event programme