Hungary joins the countries in the ESS Steering Committee
As a result of recent discussions between delegations of Sweden – on behalf of the ESS Steering Committee (STC) – and Hungary, an agreement has been reached on Hungary joining the Pre-Construction Phase of the European Spallation Source. On this basis the Hungarian representatives are invited to take part as members on the next meeting of the STC on 3 February. The invitation warmly welcomes the Hungarian colleagues and stresses “Hungarian scientists have provided invaluable contributions to the ESS technical design and in the construction of the ESS needs the expertise of the Hungarian science community and of the ESS Hungary team.”
The Letter of Intent agreed between the Swedish and Hungarian delegations stresses the recognition by the ESFRI ESS Site Review Group that Debrecen is prominently suited for hosting a large scale European research infrastructure. The Hungarian Government maintains its interest to host such a facility in the future. It recognizes Lund as the designated site of the ESS and Hungary will actively work for the realization of ESS in Lund.
Hungary is committed to make ESS a success and to contribute to the progress of the project accordingly. It realizes that the design and costing update can only be performed timely and with best efficiency and quality if the participation of institutions with best expertise in the field can be secured. For this purpose Hungary offers to contribute in kind and in funding to the design and costing upgrade study for the realization of ESS.
Colin Carlile's letter
Realizing ESS: Where are we and how to advance?
By now it is to be recognized that the site selection process of ESS conducted by the Czech authorities during the Czech presidency of the European Union did not come to a conclusion. The orientational opinion poll at the dinner of representatives of a dozen European countries in Brussels on 28 May 2009 – which indicated a majority preference for Lund – was not confirmed by formal Letters of Intent in sufficient number by 30 June, as called for at this informal dinner meeting. As of today, not even the definitive minutes of the meeting came into existence, the process discontinued with the start of the Swedish presidency on 1 of July.
The Government of Hungary and the Hungarian National Council for ESS, with representatives of all political parties in the parliament, are convinced that the Hungarian offer to host ESS is scientifically, economically and politically the most advantageous for all partners and for Europe as a whole. Therefore, in the actual non-conclusive situation, the Government of Hungary does not see a reason to withdraw this offer. Thus, after the withdrawal of Bilbao in early June, we now have two active candidatures to host ESS, those of Debrecen and Lund.
In view of the lack of final decision in a good number of key countries, one must envisage that the diplomatic process towards a final, binding decision on building ESS might take several more months. Hungary is concerned that this might slow down the technical project preparation, most importantly the timely start of a site specific design review, an endeavour expected to need two years to accomplish. In order to avoid delays on the critical path, Hungary is proactively searching for ways to help to accelerate the technical work.
To achieve this goal, Hungary is prepared to cooperate with ESS Scandinavia in a constructive spirit – keeping in mind that in the current situation with two possible sites still in official competition. In particular, Hungary is ready to contribute a substantial share to the immediate funding of the design review, even without a site decision. It recognizes the generous and valuable contribution to this work offered by ESS Bilbao. The design review needs, of course, to be completed in parallel for the specificities of both remaining sites candidates, Debrecen and Lund. This can be accomplished in a very cost effective manner, in view of the many similarities between the conditions at these two sites. Hungary is also ready to work on task sharing schemes for the realization of ESS, an approach it championed from very early on by proposing the concept of ESS out-stations, pretty much in the spirit later adopted in the recent Lund-Bilbao agreement for an ESS accelerator science center in Bilbao.
Government mandated officials of ESS Scandinavia and ESS Hungary will meet in early September in order to explore in depth ways of collaboration with the purpose of maintaining the momentum of the preparation of the realization of ESS.
ESS newsletter 05
The Prime Minister supports the European Spallation Source in Debrecen
During his visit to Debrecen Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai had a one-hour meeting with Mayor of Debrecen Lajos Kósa. Afterwards at the joint press conference the Prime Minister praised the achievement of the city.
One of the issues discussed was the developments realized by EU funding. The Prime Minister appreciated that hundreds of million HUF of European resources flow to Debrecen and to the region. He added that Debrecen was the most successful city calling the resources of National Development Plan among the regional cities, furthermore Debrecen performed excellently in New Hungary Development Plan.
There is a conception based on universities, science and other added values developing knowledge centers in the country, which was started a few years ago and is still in process – said Bajnai.
Mr. Bajnai emphasised that the government fully supports the realization of ESS in Hungary. As he said Spain had already withdrawn, but Hungary and Sweden are still in the competition.
Romania supports Hungary
Gerard Jitareanu, president of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research expressed Romania’s commitment to building ESS in Debrecen towards the Czech presidency. He emphasised that the opportunity of hosting this research facility in Hungary provides unprecedented research potential not only for Romania but for the neighbouring countries too. It would also have a positive impact on the economy, society, as well as infrastructure and education in the region. Mr. Jitareanu confirmed that beside its political support Romania is committed to take part in the investment if ESS is built in Debrecen. Furthermore he expressed that Romania, similarly to Hungary, makes critical remarks concerning the sitting procedure and asks for its fairness and transparency.
Unfair competition for hosting the European Spallation Source
Sweden misleads the public and tries do discredit the other two bidders: no official decision has been made on siting the more than 1 billion Euro European neutron scattering centre (ESS) investment. An announcement placed on the ESS Scandinavia website which declares that the Swedish Lund will host ESS ruins the reputation of the other two competitors – Bilbao and Debrecen- by ignoring the European rules. The latest news about talks between Spain and Sweden is not changing the fact, that also Spain was one of the participants who sharply protested against the unfair procedure. The ESS Hungary National Council requests the countries those participate in the decision making and the Czech presidency to ensure a transparent procedure which is in line with values and ethics of the EU and helps to find a scientifically excellent and cost- efficient solution for the benefit of European science, economic competitiveness and tax payers. >Details>
ESS Debrecen enjoys broad regional support
Until April 17, Austria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine have expressed their political support from the neighbouring countries for realising ESS in Debrecen. Based on that support, the following closing declaration has been prepared on the occasion of the Debrecen conference on regional cooperation, April 16-17.
Scientific and innovation capabilities and capacities of each region of the continent should be well integrated for the benefit of the whole EU community. The above policy goal should be supported by an optimal distribution of Pan-European research infrastructures throughout the European Research Area, following criteria of scientific and technological excellence, best cost efficiency, and facilitating the mobility of researchers across Europe.
The supporting countries acknowledge each others' effort to host major European scientific and research infrastructures for optimally contributing to the advancement of European competitiveness. This will be part of the broader endeavour of assuring the most effective use of talents and resources of the whole continent by achieving a better geographical balance in the emerging European Research Area among the various regions of the European Union.
It is expected that major Pan-European research facilities and agencies will be successfully attracted to countries in Central and Eastern Europe. We are committed to fully support such efforts in a concerted and mutually supportive fashion.
At the Competitiveness Council meeting in Brussels on the 6th March, European Science Ministers agreed to move ahead the site selection process for the European Spallation Source (ESS). Debrecen site can ensure the highest scientific excellence at most favourable conditions for the benefit of European science and competitiveness, therefore the governments of Austria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia express their support for selecting this site for ESS. Such a decision followed by further EU or Pan-European projects hosted by the supporting countries, like ELI, Allegro, ACER, Galileo, etc. could substantially contribute to the better European integration of the research and innovation capabilities of the Central-European region.
Central-Europe is joining forces for Debrecen
Several prominent speakers of the international conference held on April 17th in Debrecen spoke in favour of the Hungarian bid. Presenters included Ábel Garamhegyi, State Secretary for International Economic Relations, Edit Herczog MEP, President of ESS National Council, Lucian Sova, Romania’s State Secretary for Economy, József Pálinkás, President of the Hungarian Academy of Science, Helmut Rauch, President of the Atominstitute of Austrian Universities, Rozalia Bíró, Vice-Mayor of Oradea, Romania and Prof. Ferenc Mezei member of the HAS, the inventor of the scientific concept of the ESS.
Ábel Garamhegyi has confirmed the Hungarian government’s commitment to supporting the ESS project which would offer an excellent opportunity to boost the Hungarian economy and increase its competitiveness.
Géza Egyed, Government Commissioner in charge of ESS, said the Hungarian bid has good chances particularly with the backing of the concerted Central-European support. Following the EU’s final decision, which is likely to be made in May, the winning applicant will have to complete the ESS project within eight years. Several other EU member states will also participate in the implementation of the project.
Lajos Kósa, Mayor of Debrecen underlined the city’s achievements as a science and education centre. Debrecen is host, for instance, to the Institute of Nuclear Rersearch of the Hungarian Academy of Science and the University, with its 30,000 student, is Hungary’s largest higher education institution. Kósa also emphasized that investment costs would be much smaller in Debrecen than in the other cities competing for the ESS.
Edit Heczog MEP, President of the ESS National Council pointed out that bringing the ESS to Debrecen may also improve Europe’s competitiveness as developments would be shared more evenly among the various regions of the continent. No similar size of research-orientated investment has ever been implemented in any of the EU member states.
Presenters and slide shows
ESS newsletter 02
ERA Conference in Prague
The ERA (European Research Area) of the Czech Republic, as current president of the EU, is organizing a conference in Prague where delegates from member states will debate the main European aspects of regional scientific investment. Further, the conference will host the formal meeting of ESFRI. Alongside the main conference, the so-called Salzburg Group (Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovenia) will hold its next informal meeting, where members will discuss the regional aspects of large scientific infrastructure in Europe.
Austria supports the location of ESS in Debrecen
During his visit to Budapest, Austrian Research and Development Minister Johannes Hahn announced that his country views cross-regional and complex scientific investment as essential. According to Hahn, locating ESS in Debrecen would serve such purposes.
The “Hungary for ESS” National Council released an exclusive newsletter
It has been released in conjunction with the EU Competitiveness Council meeting in Brussels. (Newsletter)
Scientific excellence, regional balance and last but not least, cost effectiveness
Ministers of member states taking part in the EU Competitiveness Council meeting announced their position on basic principles and large scientific research investments. The ministers deemed scientific excellence, intra-European integration and regional balance to be fundamental principles. Comments from Hungary emphasized that in the current economic climate the principle of “best and most science at cost-effectiveness” should be of key importance. Their position was that locating ESS in Debrecen would serve this principle.
The choice of Debrecen can guarantee scientific investment in the region
The leader of European neutron research, Professor Ferenc Mezei, participated in a presentation on ESS in Bucharest today. The Romanian National Research Office and representatives of the Foreign Ministry assured their Hungarian partners of their support, and hoped that ESS Debrecen would come to fruition. This, in their opinion, is important because it can initiate productive scientific cooperation in the region and thus act as incalculable added value for the region. This in turn can ensure European scientific competitiveness vis-à-vis the United States and Japan.
Slovakia supports Debrecen
At their meeting in Komárom, Hungarian Economic Minister Gordon Bajnai and his Slovak counterpart Lubomir Jahnatek agreed to offer mutual support for each country’s efforts to attract scientific investments and spurn sustainable development. Slovakia announced that it prefers that the ESS be granted to Debrecen, as this would serve both European and regional interests.
USA: It will be difficult to compete with the Hungarian-led neutron research project
The ESS National Council held an ambassadorial meeting in Budapest. The organization, led by Member of European Parliament Edit Herczog, is made of scientists and leading public figures. The groups presented the Hungary for ESS project to ambassadors of EU member states and competing countries. Among the many opinions and comments, that of US Ambassador April Foley best reflected how highly the world regards Hungarian neutron research. Current American long wave neutron research is based on the work of Professor Ferenc Mezei, a Hungarian. Hence, the US opinion is that the “Hungary for ESS” project will pose the biggest challenge to other competitors. The ESS project in Debrecen holds unprecedented scientific and economic potential to move European neutron research forward. Such scientific excellence at lower cost is the dream of all politicians and developers.
The Ministry for National Development and Economy and the city of Debrecen are organizing a regional conference on April 16 – 17, 2009 in Debrecen.
The aim of the meeting is to explore the great opportunities for regional development and cross-border collaboration offered by the realization of the European Spallation Source project in Debrecen, an important economic and knowledge center of the region.
To this end scientific, research, economic and urban decision-makers from the countries in the Central European region will be invited to participate: the R & D and economic ministers of the surrounding countries, the mayors of the region's larger cities, the representatives of embassies, the rectors of the region's major universities, the presidents of the region's scientific academies, the research institutes, the leaders of local and regional Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the region's high-tech companies and members of the National Council of the ESS Hungary.
The event will be hosted by Lajos Kósa, mayor of Debrecen.
Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) gets initial go-ahead on second target in Oak Ridge, USA
The U.S. Department of Energy has given its initial approval to begin plans for a second target station for the Spallation Neutron Source, expanding what is already the world’s most powerful pulsed neutron scattering facility located at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The Second Target Station (STS) will be optimized for nanoscale and biological sciences with an emphasis on novel materials for energy production, storage and use. With the addition of up to 24 instruments, the number of researchers that will have access to the SNS's unique neutron scattering capability will eventually double from 2,000 to 4,000 annually. The decision on the expansion is the consequence of the observable, continuously increasing request for neutron scattering investigation capacity in the world.
The new target station will generate long pulses of "cold" neutrons, which are cryogenically chilled to wavelengths. This mode of operation is identical to that of the planned European Spallation Source (ESS). In this way the development strategy of the SNS facility follows the original long pulse concept of Prof Mezei. With the SNS's new capabilities for studying materials and processes at the micro- and nanoscale, researchers will have the tools to develop new materials for a broad range of applications including advanced automotive battery technology, new steel alloys and pharmaceuticals. The project completion is estimated for 2020.
Partnership conference with the representatives of the science, economic and education sectors for the implementation of ESS in Hungary
The Ministry for National Development and Economy (NFGM) organised a partnership conference on the 25th of November 2008 for the representatives of the domestic and regional scientific, economic and education sectors for the purpose of familiarizing the participants with the European Spallation Source (ESS), one of the most significant investment project possibilities of the 21st century in the context of Hungarian and Central-Eastern European scientific life and economic development.
In the program domestic and foreign experts presented the technical and scientific background of ESS, its possible uses in technology, and its expected economic effects.
In addition to the representatives of the Hungarian companies, the experts of multinational companies having a representative office in Hungary, the heads of domestic and foreign chambers, the representatives of Hungarian scientific research, of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and of the universities located in the region as well as the science attachés of countries within and outside the region, stationed in Hungary, were invited to the program.
The conference, in addition to providing an opportunity for reinforcing relations with the countries in the region (both from the aspect of intensifying scientific and economic aspects, and of investment project considerations), through presenting the scientific and economic opportunities inherent in the project, may contribute to building out cooperation and partnership facilitating joint preparations. The partnership, in addition to representing significant strength in supporting implementation in Hungary (Debrecen) in the possible widest circle, also provides an incentive for joining in the preparatory and project phases as soon as possible.
ESS National Council founded
ESS NT member's list
The founding meeting of the ESS National Council was held on 6th November 2008. This public organisation aims for a more comprehensive social and economic support of the implementation of the European Spallation Source in Hungary.
Such an outstanding scientific programme and large infrastructure project may only be realized by a broad social collaboration and international support - as it was said at the founding seat. This cooperation is personalized by the National Council, and its members, renowned people from political, cultural and public life, are to help and support the project according to the best of their knowledge.
Edit Herczog, Member of European Parliament became the chairperson of the council, while; vice-chairmen are István Stumpf, István Józsa and István Csillag. At the first meeting on 6th November Prof. Ferenc Mezei, chief researcher of ESS and Prof. József Pálinkás, president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences held presentations. Numerous personalities from political and public life took part at the event to mark the national consensus on behalf of the Hungarian bid.
Hungarian Economic Season to begin in Madrid
Magyar Nemzet, daily: The relations between Spain and Hungary are developing dynamically and involve all branches of the economy. A case in point is one of the largest enterprises of the EU: the European Spallation Source (ESS) project.
Hungary wants the ESS
Homepage of the economic daily Napi Gazdaság: The Hungarian government decided to guarantee a sum of 90 billion HUF as the own resources, which will constitute a part of the country’s contribution to the European Spallation Source project in Hungary. Moreover, Géza Egyed was appointed as Government Commissioner for ESS Hungary.
ESS: the government guarantees the own resources
Homepage of the Municipality of Debrecen: State Secretary of the Ministry for National Development and Economy Géza Egyed announced at the September 11 (Thursday) government press conference that the Hungarian government guarantees a sum of 90 billion HUF as the country’s 30 percent own resources necessary for the building of the European Spallation Source.
Hungary guarantees 90 billion for the European Spallation Source
Homepage of Duna Television: President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences József Pálinkás welcomed the government’s decision to provide the own resources necessary for the implementation of the ESS. According to Pálinkás, the investment will have an enormous impact on the Hungarian scholarly community and discourse. The facility will significantly improve the situation of the Hungarian researchers and the chances of the Hungarian scientific field.