Francesco Sette, Director General, ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility), Bertrand Girard, Chairman of the Council of the ESRF, and Fernando Ferroni, President of INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare), signed, on Monday 8 February 2016, a collaboration agreement in the presence of the Italian and French Ministers, Stefania Giannini, Minister for Education, Universities and Research, and Thierry Mandon, Minister of State for Higher Education and Research. This agreement represents a decisive milestone for the ESRF-EBS (Extremely Brilliant Source) project, which will create a new generation of synchrotrons with performances that are unique in the world.
The Ministers chaired the signing ceremony of the collaboration agreement between ESRF and INFN, following the visit of the ESRF new Experimental Hall and the presentation of examples of the international research carried out at the ESRF in areas such as structural biology and medical research to conceive new drugs, materials science to understand the geodynamics of our planet, soft matter to understand the functioning of muscles, archaeology to unveil non-destructively mysteries of ancient artefacts, environmental sciences and nanotechnology.
This agreement reinforces the links between ESRF and INFN, which date back to the very beginning of the ESRF, and to the design of the existing machine. Since 2011, collaboration between ESRF and INFN-LNF (Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati) has further strengthened with the conception and engineering design of the new revolutionary ESRF-EBS storage ring. INFN, with its pioneering work on DAFNE (the first accelerator made almost entirely with aluminium vacuum chambers), has helped in all aspects of the design and construction of the ESRF-EBS vacuum system.
The ESRF-EBS is a major challenge requiring state-of-the-art accelerator technology to realise a very innovative relativistic electron beam dynamics design. This unique project is supported by the 21 partner nations of the ESRF, including France, the host-country, and Italy whose contributions to the ESRF amounts to 27.5% and 13.2% respectively. The principal aim of this project is to construct and commission the new 844 m circumference ESRF-EBS storage ring, over the period 2015-2022. About 90% of the existing infrastructure will be re-used, and the new ESRF-EBS design has been conceived with greatly improved energy efficiency providing a 20% reduction of electricity costs. Consequently, also thanks to expertise of ESRF staff and the network between European accelerator laboratories, the construction and operation of the ESRF-EBS is very attractive from many points of view: science, technology, education of young generations in challenging jobs and financial costs.
This agreement represents a key step in the construction and installation phases of the ESRF-EBS new storage ring. It will result in an exchange of expertise and a strengthening of technical assistance between ESRF and INFN.