This afternoon in Leioa-Erandio, the Lehendakari, Patxi López, and the Minister for Science and Innovation, Cristina Garmendia, presented the Spanish headquarters of the European Neutron Spallation Source, located in the Scientific Park on the UPV/EHU Campus, which forms part of the network of Euskadi technology parks. The installation has been created with the aim of becoming a laboratory of reference in the science and technology of particle accelerators at an international level.
The ceremony took place in a marquee erected for the purpose on the future site of the work. In addition to the Lehendakari and the Minister, it was also attended by the Scientific Director of the ESS-Bilbao Centre and Professor of Research at the CSIC, Javier Bermejo, and the Chancellor of the University of the Basque Country, Iñaki Goirizelaia.
The project presented today for the scientific installation has a total accumulated investment of 180 million Euros and is expected to take 6 years. Financing for the project is provided by the General State Administration-Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Basque Government in equal portions. The centre is to create 60 direct posts, a large number of which will be for highly qualified personnel.
As stated by Professor Javier Bermejo, ESS-Bilbao will be a centre of reference in power accelerator science and technology. The applications are diverse, ranging from the aero-space industry, nanotechnology, biotechnology, nuclear fusion, to radiopharmacy.
The Singular Scientific-Technological Installation is to be located in a building with a surface area of 175×50 metres, to be used for the design and manufacture of the leading component of the project, a linear proton accelerator. This complex equipment accelerates particles using a series of devices, structures and accelerating cavities and the application of electromagnetic fields.
The project requires the latest technology and collaboration (already established by the Basque laboratory) with some of the most prestigious scientists in the world in this field, including ISIS (the United Kingdom), SNS (the USA), CERN (Switzerland), IPN-Orsay (France).
In addition, the headquarters will be used as the main centre for the research, development, prototyping and testing of the different components of ESS, both at the initial phases in the review of the conceptual design and in the development of the detailed design and the construction, and in future developments to improve or expand the ESS.
Similarly, it will offer the scientific community a remote access station for the performance of experiments in ESS, functioning as a centre of intellect, education and diffusion for Central and Southern Europe. Researchers will also be able to use the capacities and installations of the Headquarters for the development of scientific instruments, both for ESS and for other scientific installations.
Both the construction and the commissioning of this important infrastructure will help to boost the economy of the area and to raise technological excellence in businesses participating in both the construction and the operation. It is a firm commitment to science and innovation aimed at introducing basic science into the real economy.