The Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) is a step closer to officially becoming an international organisation. The Czech Republic and Hungary, together with Italy and Lithuania, have formally applied to the European Commission to establish the new, pan-European organisation known as the Extreme Light Infrastructure ERIC (ELI ERIC). The United Kingdom has confirmed to join as a founding observer.

The ELI facilities in the Czech Republic and Hungary will operate together as the world’s most advanced laser laboratories under the umbrella of a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). The new legal form enables the member countries to govern the facilities jointly and make them available to the scientific community as a single international organisation.

This is an important step of a process overseen by the European Commission to establish an ERIC in that it demonstrates the political support necessary to sustainably support it into the future. The European Commission will review the application and the members expect it to be confirmed within six months.

“This application is a significant milestone after a decade of planning and construction,” says Allen Weeks, Director General of the ELI Delivery Consortium. “At that point the newly formed ELI ERIC will organise the joint scientific user programme and begin to coordinate the technical operation.”

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