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The Extreme Light Infrastructure

The Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) is an international laser user facility, open to access by the scientific user community from around the world. It is the first ESFRI Landmark constructed in the newer EU Member States. The commissioning of the Facilities is foreseen to be completed in 2022-2023, and advanced, specific experimental capabilities have already come online since 2019. The special vibration-free buildings that host the lasers and the experiments have been commissioned and installation of lasers, secondary sources and the experimental equipment is near completion.

The ELI Facilities are of pan-European interest for the investigation of extreme light-matter interactions at highest intensities and shortest time scales. ELI is part of the European ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) Roadmap. With an investment exceeding 850Meuros from the European Regional Development Funds, three world-class high-power, high-repetition-rate laser facilities have been established in the Central Eastern European Member States Czech Republic (ELI Beamlines), Hungary (ELI-ALPS) and Romania (ELI-NP).

The ELI Delivery Consortium International Association was founded in 2013 as an international non-profit association under Belgian law. It promotes the sustainable development of ELI as a pan-European research infrastructure, supports the coordinated implementation of the ELI research facilities, and preserves the consistency and complementarity of their scientific missions. With the IMPULSE project, ELI is now moving to the Operations Phase.

The three pillars will be operated, governed and funded by the newly established European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). The Founding Members of ELI ERIC include the Host Countries, the Czech Republic and Hungary. It also includes Italy, a supporter of ELI since the preparatory phase, and Lithuania, a leading country in laser physics. Germany and Bulgaria are Founding Observers, with aims future membership. Romania hosts the ELI-NP facility, an important scientific pillar, and intends to join ELI ERIC soon following its establishment.

Altogether, the ELI Facilities represent nearly 85,000 sqm on three sites. Together the ELI Facilities staff over 700 scientists, technicians and support staff charged with user support and managing international collaborations in charge of research projects through dedicated external funding.