Copenhagen, 5th September 2018 – A High Level Meeting was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, with the aim to debate financing of completion of the construction phase of European Spallation Source (hereinafter referred to as the “ESS”) and initial operation costs thereof in the years 2019-2025. The meeting was organised on the platform of Member States of the ESS ERIC – legal entity that gathers the countries, which contribute to the construction phase of ESS and anticipate their involvement in the ESS operational phase as well.
The main topic of the session was the debate on securing financial resources, which are necessary for completing the construction phase of the ESS research infrastructure, but have not been secured yet. These are 5.7% of the ESS construction costs that has not been allocated among the ESS ERIC Member States so far (i.e. 105 mil. EUR out of total 1 843 mil. EUR in 2013 prices) and financial resources needful to meet the additional international radiation safety and security requirements (i.e. 135 mil. EUR in 2013 prices). These financial resources are crucial for a successful completion of the ESS construction phase and initiation of the ESS scientific programme in 2023. Moreover, the debate focused on the ESS initial operations costs in 2019 (i.e. 60 mil. EUR in 2013 prices) and 2020 (i.e. 90 mil. EUR in 2013 prices) and the overall ESS initial operations costs in 2019-2025 (i.e. 891 mil. EUR in 2013 prices).
The Czech Republic, represented by Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, supported the proposal consisting in finding a joint funding solution that will enable to finance the ESS initial operations based on the suggested budgetary framework for the years 2019-2020 and to complete the construction of ESS within the set timeframe and original technology design so that the ESS scientific programme may be initiated in 2023 and ESS may enter the steady-state operations in 2026. Business plans for securing the needful financial resources were discussed during the meeting. A final decision should be approved by the ESS ERIC Member States on the occasion of the 14th ESS ERIC Council Meeting that will be held on 3rd and 4th December 2018.
ESS is a European research infrastructure being currently under construction in Lund, Sweden, hosted by Sweden and Denmark. ESS will be based on the world’s most powerful spallation neutron source, producing intense neutron beams for a large array of instruments for studies of structure and dynamics of matter over a very broad range of size scales and energies. The Czech Republic is one of 13 ESS ERIC Member States. Czech participation in the ESS construction phase is organised by the Nuclear Physics Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences within the framework of ESS Scandinavia-CZ project and another complementary project financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds through the Operational Programme Research, Development and Education. Mandatory membership fees of the Czech Republic to the ESS ERIC are funded directly by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.