Top laser centre ELI Beamlines in Dolní Břežany managed by the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences can be referred to as the showcase of Czech science. A number of delegations come to see it from all around the world; several months ago arrived the president of India. On Thursday, May 9th, it was visited by European Commissioner Věra Jourová.
Věra Jourová is in charge of justice, consumer protection and gender equality in the Juncker-led European Commission. During her visit to Dolní Břežany, she was accompanied by Eva Zažímalová, the president of the Academy of Sciences, and Pavel Doleček, Deputy Minister of Education.
In a discussion with the representatives of the Institute of Physics, they spoke, in particular, about the upcoming ERIC consortium (ELI European Research Infrastructure Centre) which is to cover the funding and management of the three ELI pillars located – apart from the Czech Republic – also in Hungary and Romania. The ELI project aims at building a prestigious user laser facility to be available to the international user community.
European programmes and sustainability
ELI Beamlines is the largest research project in modern Czech history, operating a unique L3 system since last summer. This 17 metres-long petawatt laser system boasts with the highest average power in the world, enabling to create – for a split second – the warmest spot in the universe. The delegation also visited laser and experimental halls which can only be accessed in a protection suit. The European Commissioner was ushered around the halls by Roman Hvězda, the manager of the centre, and Georg Korn, the manager of experimental programmes.
Jourová was also interested in the broader context of the facility’s existence, such as European framework programmes for research and innovation, innovation platforms and the sustainability of research infrastructures. She also visited the neighbouring HiLASE facility which focuses on laser technology and is closely related to ELI Beamlines. The centre was introduced by Tomáš Mocek, the head of the facility, while Věslav Michalík, the mayor of Dolní Břežany, gave brief information about the principles and objectives of the STAR region which seeks to attract top technology and highly qualified experts.
Prepared by: Michael Vích, ELI Beamlines in cooperation with Alice Horáčková, Media Communication of the Office of the CAS.
Photo: ELI Beamlines