XFEL: LEAPS initiative launched by European light source facilities

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2017/11/13
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LEAPS initiative launched by European light source facilities

European XFEL founding member of the League of European Accelerator based Photon Sources (LEAPS)

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Representatives of 16 light source organisations from across Europe met with Robert-Jan Smits, Director General for Research and Innovation (RTD) at the European Commission in Brussels today to launch the new initiative.


European XFEL joined other European light source facilities and organisations today in Brussels to launch a new collaborative initiative to drive a more efficient, effective and collaborative use of light source technologies. The League of European Accelerator based Photon Sources (LEAPS) brings together 16 research organisations from across Europe, including European XFEL.  The light sources aresuper-microscopes’ that produce exceptionally intense beams of X-rays, ultra-violet and infrared light enabling the exploration of samples in the tiniest of details. LEAPS consists mainly of synchrotron light sources such as DESY’s PETRA III, and free-electron lasers such as the European XFEL.

While European light sources have been working alongside each other for years, the LEAPS members strive for closer collaboration and cooperation. They share a common vision to drive forward the development of common technologies, to strengthen economies and create employment, and to support industries to make better use of available instruments and techniques. Together, they aim to inspire emerging technologies and innovations, and to foster a stronger skills base across Europe.

Sixteen light sources from across Europe contribute to the new initiative


Prof. Helmut Dosch, Chair of LEAPS and Director of DESY said “Light from particle accelerators plays a crucial role in studies carried out in virtually every area of the natural sciences – from physics, chemistry and biology, through energy, medicine and transport, to studies in cultural history. National facilities have so far mostly been developed and operated independently of each other, yet they have much in common, because most of their scientific objectives are very similar.” 

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Prof. Robert Feidenhans'l, managing director of European XFEL launches the LEAPS initiative together with other light source organisations

Prof. Robert Feidenhans’l, Managing Director of European XFEL said “Research light sources serve as catalysts for tackling global challenges, and they are key contributors to innovation and competitiveness, which society at large can benefit from directly. Beyond this, these facilities promote peace and European integration through close scientific collaboration across national frontiers. With its unique features, the European XFEL is expected to enable significant scientific and technological advances in these areas. The collaboration within LEAPS will further improve the efficient use of these world-class facilities and help us and our users to push the frontiers of scientific knowledge forward even faster.”