Hungary and the Czech Republic signaled their intention to work together on the European Union's Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project, a laser facility that will open new avenues to reveal the secrets of matter on ultra-short timescales, the ELI commissioners of the two government's said in Budapest on Friday.
Tivadar Lippényi, Hungary's ELI commissioner and deputy director of the National Research and Technology Office (NKTH), said thirteen countries are participating in the ELI project, under the leadership of France. Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania, France and the UK are competing to host the facility, but none of these countries have enough strengths to win on their own, so they have been asked to submit integrated program proposals, he added.
Vlastimil Ruzicka, the Czech Republic's deputy minister for education, youth and sport, said the two countries' scientific and professional competence offers a good chance of winning the contest to host ELI.
The construction of the facility, to take place between 2011 and 2014, is expected to cost about €400 million. It will cost an annual €50 million to operate ELI for the 20 years before its first big expansion. (MTI-ECONEWS)