Synchrotron Radiation in Natural Science Vol. 16, No. 1-2 (2017)
The scientific tools nowadays are very expensive and the improvement in technology and electronics is so quick that even very rich countries cannot afford the cost of continuous upgrading. As the synchrotron users perfectly know, the only economic solution is the creation of international laboratories used by wide community of scientists. The good examples are synchrotrons, particularly the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France (ESRF- www.esrf.eu). In 1988, eleven European countries joined forces to build this world’s most performing and bright facility, dedicated to production of light. Today, 22 countries operate and finance it jointly. On 19 June 2017 the India joined with 0.66% contribution. Almost thirty years after creation this visionary project has made an outstanding contribution to the excellence of European science.
On 20th December 2016, in the Institute of Physics, Polish Academy of Science (IP PAS) the signature of the Arrangement between IP PAS and ESRF took place. The arrangement is concerning the long-term scientific use of the synchrotron radiation by Polish scientists. IP PAS was represented by the Director Prof. Roman Puzniak, ESRF – by General Director Dr Francesco Sette. In the ceremony participated the IP PAS scientific director Dr Tomasz Sowinski, secretary of the ESRF council Itziar Echeverria, Prof. Krystyna Jablonska, who is from very beginning representing Poland in the ESRF Council. Furthermore, 16 from 20 of the representatives of the Consortium of the scientific institutions in Poland interested in use of this best in the Europe high energy synchrotron, were present.
IP PAS acts as a coordinator of this Consortium. The signature of Arrangement was possible after the decision made on 6th December 2016 by the Minister of Science and Higher Education Jaroslaw Gowin for allocation of the financial resources to pay the Polish contribution at the level of 1% of ESRF yearly budget. The decision secures the access of Polish scientists to this world’s most intense X-ray source for five years (till March 2021). Each scientist with Polish affiliation can propose experiment at 43 beamlines with modern equipment related to x-ray techniques. After positive evaluation by the international scientific committee the time for measurements is allocated and the travel and accommodation for three scientists participated in experiments is paid by the facility. Synchrotron is operating 7 days per week, day and night. Poland is an associated member of ESRF from May 2004. It was the result of 10 years continuous efforts of the Polish scientists gathered in the Polish Synchrotron Radiation Society (PTPS-www.synchrotron.org.pl). Polish researchers fully explore the scientific power of this facility. More than 50 papers are published each year from the results of experiments performed there by Polish scientists. They used 1% of the beamtime available at all experimental stations at ESRF. More information at – http://www.ifpan.edu.pl/esrf/Local_Publish/.