2nd Annual IMPULSE Meeting Kicks off 2nd Project Half
On 9-10 November 2022, the IMPULSE project partners gathered at the ELI ALPS facility in Szeged, Hungary for the 2nd Annual Meeting and 4th Governing Board Meeting. This was one of the first occasions for all project partners to meet in person since the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. As the mid-term point of the project, the meeting served as a chance to review the accomplishments and jointly outline the remaining project period.
With more than 70 project participants from the 15 IMPULSE partners and contributors, the meeting offered an opportunity for exchange and discussion which is essential for collaborative projects like IMPULSE and ELI as a whole. The two-day programme kicked off with a facility tour to experience the state-of-the-art research infrastructure of ELI Attoscience. The programme continued with a plenary session providing an overview and current status of the project as a whole, as well as brief overview presentations from each of the Work Package leaders on key activities and initial results. Work Package specific breakout sessions followed to go into more detail and discussions on each respective topic. The sessions summarised the highlights of each WP and outlined next steps for the remaining duration of the project.
WP2 is dedicated to the Joint development of ELI as an integrated organisation which entails developing and implementing a shared management system in close cooperation with the ELI partners. The breakout session included an interactive exercise with the participants to reviewing the contributions already made by the WP and aligning these with the expected results still to be delivered in addition to key risks identified together.
WP3 – Ramping–up Towards Excellent Steady-State Operations – managed to make excellent progress in the last few months which were discussed during the Annual Meeting. WP members put in place a harmonised standard operating procedure (SOP) structure that allows further standardisation between all three ELI facilities and they’re progressing well with the beta version of ELI Operations and Maintenance Database.
WP4 focuses on key technologies and enhanced experiments to ensure quality and reliable supply of critical state-of-the art optical components, which are crucial to enhance the capabilities and attractiveness of the ELI facilities. Their breakout session discussed topics around 3 main areas: coatings and thin layers, targets and debris, controls and data handling.
WP5 is dedicated to establishing a general user office at ELI ERIC and local offices at the ELI facilities that comply with the highest quality standards currently observed at world-class RIs. This separate session revolved around the evaluation and takeaways from the 1st ELI Call for Users, a unified Quality Management System, the development and maintenance of the ELI User Portal, as well as the next steps of the already defined Flagship experiments.
To maximise ELI’s impact on innovation, WP6 aims to develop and implement a shared approach to knowledge transfer and industrial access. During their breakout session, WP members addressed the concept of the ELI Innovation Strategy and the key processes leading to the creation of the ELI innovation ecosystem. To meet these goals, an internal Innovation Board was established which is a managerial and executive body responsible for the implantation of innovation-related actions.
The WP7 – Promoting ELI Membership and Communication – session reviewed some key challenges for scientific project communication and addressed the latest developments of all IMPULSE and ELI-related communications activities. Together with participants from the WP partners ELI ALPS, ELI Beamlines, ELI NP, CLPU and FORTH the most important activities of 2022 were summarised and indicative plans for 2023 discussed.
IMPULSE has initiated a variety of activities not just between the ELI facilities but for all project partners. While there are high expectations and project results still to be achieved, a solid foundation for ongoing work has been established. One of the main aims of the project is to strengthen the exchanges and connections between the partners and establish a network of collaborators which all together drive science and innovation with laser technologies. With so many participants representing all project partners this main goal is clearly being achieved.
“We would like to thank all the project partners who are actively engaging and contributing to the IMPULSE project,” says ELI ERIC Director General and IMPULSE Project Coordinator, Allen Weeks. “IMPULSE is providing a very strong and essential framework to bring us closer together!”