The ELI (extreme light infrastructure) superlaser research center in Szeged (163 km southeast of Budapest) and its sister laboratory in the Czech Republic have passed a milestone to becoming a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), according to a report by state news wire MTI.
Hungary and the Czech Republic, together with Italy and Lithuania, have formally applied to the European Commission to establish the new, pan-European organization known as the Extreme Light Infrastructure ERIC (ELI ERIC), the ELI Delivery Consortium said in a statement.
The United Kingdom has confirmed it will join as a founding observer.
"This application is a significant milestone after a decade of planning and construction," said Allen Weeks, Director General of the ELI Delivery Consortium.
"At that point, the newly formed ELI ERIC will organize the joint scientific user program and begin to coordinate the technical operation," he added.
The ELI facility in Hungary focuses on experiments using ultrashort light pulses and the ELI facility in Dolni Brezany, on the outskirts of Prague, experiments using ultrahigh intensity light.
"Operating the two facilities will be more efficient and enable joint development. But the biggest impact for scientists is getting access to so many quality lasers through one organization," Weeks said.