Poland among founding members of the European Spallation Source
The Polish government supports Poland's participation in an international project involving the construction and operation of the European Spallation Source (ESS). Poland will be granted the status of a founding member of the ESS. The ESS will be the strongest, largest and most technologically advanced source of neutrons used to study matter. It is to be built in Swedish Lund.
'This is another large international research organization which Poland has joined recently. Following the recently signed agreement with the European Southern Observatory and the accession to the European Space Agency, it is now time for the European Spallation Source. The ESS will provide our scientists with access to the most advanced research methods, for the likes of materials science, chemistry, physics and biology', says Prof. Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, the Minister of Science and Higher Education.
In October 2014, the cornerstone of the facility was laid. The project involves 17 European countries. By participating in the ESS implementation, Poland will contribute to the expansion of the European Research Area and the development of a knowledge and innovative technology based economy.
Poland became involved in this project because of the expected economic and scientific tangible benefits for the Polish industry and scientific institutions. Entities involved in the project (companies and research institutions) will be able to participate in the development of modern technologies and fully use their scientific and technical potential.
'The greatest scientific successes are usually the result of teamwork. This is why the internationalization of education is so important. Only large-scale, global research cooperation produces the best results and directly translates into economic development. Therefore, not only Polish science, but also our economy will benefit from the ESS', adds Professor Lena Kolarska-Bobińska.
The project involves various institutions, including the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the National Centre for Nuclear Research, Warsaw University of Technology, Wrocław University of Technology and numerous subcontractors. The ESS project will ensure the above institutions access to the most advanced research methods such as the use of neutrons source in research programmes implemented practically in all fields of exact sciences, life sciences, engineering and technology as well as in the area of environment and cultural heritage protection. Furthermore, Polish industry will also benefit from the cooperation and transfer of knowledge from the most developed countries in Europe and the world.
The ESS construction cost is estimated to amount to approx. EUR 1.84 billion (using 2013 prices). Half of this amount is to be covered by the host countries, namely Sweden and Denmark. The ESS operation is expected to cost EUR 140 million annually and should start in 2025.
The Ministry of Science and Higher Education agreed that Polish contribution to this venture will amount to 2% of the facility construction costs, i.e. EUR 36.86 million (spread out over a minimum of 5 years). Its payment will begin in 2016 at the earliest, while a minimum of 70% of this amount is to be an in-kind contribution. The contribution is to be financed from the Ministry of Science budget or from the Intelligent Development Operational Programme funds, or with both of these sources. It is estimated that Poland will allot to this project EUR 1.4-2.8 million annually.