The EIB finances the ESRF for 65 M€


With fostering innovation to support fundamental and applied research of scientific excellence as one of its top priorities, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has decided to support the project ESRF- Extremely Brilliant Source (ESRF-EBS) to the level of 65 million euros.

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This funding is guaranteed by InnovFin Large Projects, a financial product developed under Horizon 2020, the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation in the European Union. The finance contract was signed on Friday, December 11, 2015 by Francesco Sette, Director General of the ESRF, Bertrand Girard, Chairman of the ESRF and Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the EIB in charge of innovation, with Jean-David Malo, Head of Unit for Financial Engineering in the Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission.

This major funding will enable the ESRF to mobilize the resources needed to implement the project ESRF-EBS (Extremely Brilliant Source). This innovative project, which involves the 21 partner countries of the ESRF, represents a total investment of 150 million euros over the period 2015-2022. It covers in particular the creation of a new storage ring, within the existing infrastructure, with unrivalled properties that will push the boundaries of X-ray science and the exploration of matter and materials. The ESRF will provide European and international researchers as well as industrial R&D with an equipment of excellence for basic and applied research, with a performance in terms of brightness 100 times that achieved today and a normalized horizontal emittance of the X-ray beam 10 times smaller than obtained in synchrotrons around the world today and in those under construction. This project also includes an ambitious instrumentation programme and an intensified “big data” strategy designed to exploit the enhanced properties of this new source of extremely brilliant synchrotron light.


The delegation visit one of the most recently upgraded beamlines, ID30B.

Francesco Sette explains the functioning of the ESRF, inside the main Experimental Hall.

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for research, innovation and science said: “This first signature with InnovFin Large Projects in France renews our commitment not only for basic research but also for public health which is a major issue of Horizon 2020. "

"This financing operation is a strong signal: it confirms our commitment to basic research and also to a dynamic region that is dedicated to research and innovation,” stated EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle. “Supporting innovation is one of the priorities of the European Union’s bank. And it is our responsibility to assist world-leading basic research projects, particularly when they have a real impact on the health and daily life of European citizens. The EIB is proud to be helping the European synchrotron in Grenoble with its upgrading and international development project. "


The delegation is shown one of the latest pieces of equipment for the ESRF-EBS project: a prototype girder for the new storage ring. Credit for all photos: ESRF/C. Argoud.


"The signing of this contract with the EIB is a mark of strong recognition for the ESRF and decisive support for the ESRF-EBS project. By creating a new synchrotron light source with unrivalled properties, ESRF-EBS will open new perspectives for the exploration of matter and materials. This project, now backed by the European Union's bank, will contribute to meeting the new scientific, technological, economic, environmental and societal challenges facing our society," explained Francesco Sette, ESRF Director General.

"The 21 partner countries of the ESRF partners are today strongly involved in the ESRF-EBS project. The Council welcomes the signing of this financing agreement, which consolidates ESRF’s pioneering role and provides Europe and the ESRF’s partner countries with a facility of excellence in the area of X-ray science and innovation,” added Bertrand Girard, Chairman of the ESRF Council.

The EIB financing is part of the Horizon 2020 initiative, and in particular the “InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators" programme which provides customised products for financing the research and innovation (R&I ) projects of small, medium-sized and large businesses and promoters of research infrastructures.



Top image: The main actors of the finance contract inside the ESRF's Visitor Centre. Credit: ESRF/C. Argoud