Enabling ELI’s transformation from ERDF - funded distributed implementation towards ERIC - governed unified operation
While the implementation of the “Extreme Light Infrastructure” ELI is nearing completion in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, its remaining challenge is to create the necessary conditions for the future operation as a single, distributed international laser user facility of pan-European dimension.
The main objectives of ELITRANS
- Conceptual Design of the future ELI-ERIC “Business Model”: essential elements of the future ELI-ERIC organization, financing, governance and international integration.
- Preparing ELI-ERIC’s “Business Plan”: development of concepts adapted to the operation as the world’s first international laser user facility.
- Managing the transition from Structural Funds supported implementation towards the ERIC-funded operation: merging the three facilities into one unified internal structure, developing a corporate identity, strengthening user relations, developing the scientific profile, international visibility and leadership
The project will last 36 months, starting 1 September 2015, ending 31 August 2018. During its lifetime, ELITRANS aims at supporting/complementing the activities of ELI in the transition between the construction and the operation phase.
ELITRANS shall complement the final implementation stage of the ELI research facilities located in Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic by preparing and undertaking the necessary action towards operation as a single user facility, ELI-ERIC. That means that ELITRANS’ project activities are at the core of those carried out by ELI since 2015, involving the support of all ELI members at the management and the technical levels.
Today the project proceeds to its first reporting period after eighteen months, and a thorough analysis of the status of the actions shows that the project performs reasonably well in most of the work packages and performs beyond expectations in what concerns the activities related to the preparation of the new ELI-ERIC structure, in terms of legal personality and scientific profile.
One example of that is Work Package (WP) WP2-ERIC. Its objectives refer to the preparation and the analysis of the possible scenarios on the bases of which discussion on several legal and administrative aspects should take place, but the work carried out actually gave ELI the possibility to already submit the documentation for the Step 1 of the ERIC process. This achievement is very important, taking into account the considerable amount of documentation and the number of meetings at international and ministerial level necessary prepare them and agree on their content.
ELI foresees to be ready for the final step of the process, Step 2, in the next few months, which let us believe that the ELI-ERIC will become reality at the end of this year.
WP3-ACCESS and WP4-PARTNERS can be also included in those achieving important results in the definition of the key policies of the ELI-ERIC during its early years; access policy; development of an international scientific community network and partner facilities and improvement of training curricula in the countries hosting the facility.
Having said that, it is also true that improvements of the inter-WP communication and optimization of the resources’ use are still possible and during the last year the project team has been discussing the convenience of restructuring the project to allow for a most efficient achievement of the objectives. The result is an alive ongoing discussion in order to improve as much as possible the outcomes of the project towards its main goal.
ELItrans has been allocated by the European Commission a total budget of 3,4 million EUR.