National collaboration to maximise the benefit to Sweden of ESS and MAX IV

operated together with


The European Spallation Source, ESS, and MAX IV in Lund are two of the world’s most advanced research facilities. The Office for ESS/MAX IV is operated jointly by the Swedish Research Council and Vinnova, and is tasked to maximise Swedish benefit from the facilities.

The Swedish Research Council finances feasibility studies for future instruments at ESS

One of the areas that the Swedish Research Council has identified as important for Sweden concerning ESS is opportunities for Swedish researchers to participate in a competitive proposal for new instruments.

In recent years, two initiatives, in particular, have excelled. One is SAGA, a GISANS instrument (grazing-incidence small-angle neutron scattering) for structural studies of surfaces, thin films and boundary layers. Such experiments are of interest to both industry and academia in characterising all kinds of complex systems such as food and biological materials. The second is HIBEAM (high-intensity baryon extraction and measurement), an instrument for subatomic physics for studies of the fundamental properties of the neutron, which will be used to look for new physics beyond the so-called standard model.

Following the results of the needs inventory 2020, the Council for Research Infrastructures (RFI) decided to handle the instrumentation at ESS in a particular order, i.e. outside RFI's ordinary application procedures that were deemed not appropriate. As a step in this handling, RFI decided before the summer of 2021 to set up a targeted call for feasibility studies for future instruments at ESS. The SAGA and HIBEAM collaborations were invited to apply.

The applications have been prepared during the autumn. At its council meeting on 27-28 October, RFI decided to finance the SAGA and HIBEAM collaborations with SEK 10 million each during 2021-2023 to carry out the instrument feasibility studies. The feasibility studies will result in competitive proposals that can be submitted to the ESS council when the time is right to appoint the instruments that will constitute the ESS's future instruments.

LoI for Swedish in-kind contribution to ESS 2021

The Council for Research Infrastructures (RFI) decided at its council meeting in September 2021 to add SEK 30 million per year during 2021-2025 for the initial operational phase at ESS and that the money preferably should be used for Swedish in-kind grants.

As possible in-kind for Sweden already in 2021, ESS and the Swedish Research Council have identified the ongoing accelerator testing activity at the FREIA laboratory External link. at Uppsala University as most suitable. The intention is now that the Swedish Research Council will finance this to a value of SEK 24 million.

To receive support from the In-Kind Reference Committee at ESS for this to be credited as an in-kind contribution for Sweden, the Swedish Research Council and ESS have signed a Letter of Intent describing the parties' shared intentions. The Swedish Research Council now hopes that the ESS Council, based on this document, will decide to credit Sweden with the first of its kind contribution to the ESS at the next meeting in December.


How can well-thought-out strategies increase the use of MAX IV and ESS? How do researchers from academia and industry get the best knowledge and access to the facilities? This year's ESS/MAX IV Online Summit took place on 14 October.

You can find a summary (mainly in Swedish) here. Pdf, 2.4 MB. (Pdf, 2.4 MB)

Here you can see all the presentation that was done during the day.

What can ESS and MAX IV do for life science?

Stockholm Science City held a webinar 26 May 2021 in collaboration with the Office for ESS/MAX IV. Presentations where made on ESS and MAX IV technologies relevant to life science, how to apply for beamtime, and what kind of results can be obtained.

Selma Maric from MAX IV and Zoë Fisher from ESS told about the facilities and the InfraLife project and gave examples of research that can be carried out. Lionel Trésaugues explained how Sprint Bioscience and the FragMAX team at MAX IV collaborated to develop fragment screening using X-ray crystallography for cancer-related proteins.

The seminar is held in English.

See a recording of the webinar on Stockholm Science City's website External link, opens in new window.



Pdf / Printout

Big Science in Sweden

Large-scale research facilities are often known as “Big Science”. Around the world, these facilities contribute to great innovative power, technical development and groundbreaking research.

ESS and MAX IV in Lund give Sweden the opportunity to create an international centre that is world-leading within materials science and life sciences.


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