The European Spallation Source Changes Legal Status as the First ERIC in Scandinavia

14. 09. 2015

The European Spallation Source marked an important milestone in its history. Now the organisation is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), a type of legal entity created by the European Commission for governing international research facilities. The European Commission's Director-General for Research and Innovation, Robert-Jan Smits handed over the official ‘plates’ of the ERIC from the Commission to ESS. He was joined by the Swedish Research Minister Helene Hellmark Knutsson, and her Danish counterpart Esben Lunde Larsen, as well as representatives from the partner countries.

The European Spallation Source is the first ERIC established in Scandinavia and the eleventh in Europe. The establishment of the European Spallation Source ERIC provides ESS with legal status in all the Member Countries, enabling them to participate in the governance and directly contribute to financing ESS. “The European Spallation Source is one of the most impressive European Research Infrastructures and has obtained the prestigious ERIC status,” says Robert-Jan Smits, the European Commission Director-General for Research and Innovation. “The timely completion of ESS enables Europe to maintain its position as the leader in neutron-based research and provides a multidisciplinary centre for innovation and competitiveness.”


The European Commission confirmed the establishment of the European Spallation Source as an ERIC formally in mid-August, and the decision took effect as of the 31st of August. The Founding Members are the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland. Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom joined as Founding Observer Countries and plan to become Members in the near future.


The European Spallation Source ESS AB was originally established as a Swedish limited liability corporation, owned by the Swedish and Danish governments.


The ERIC Plate handover. From left, Chair of the ESS ERIC Council Lars Börjesson, European Commission Director-General for Research and Innovation Robert-Jan Smits, Czech representative in the ESS ERIC Council Petr Lukáš, Director General of the ESS ERIC Jim Yeck. Photo ESS.

Recent aerial photo of the ESS construction site. Photo Perry Nordeng.