The European Cluster of Advanced Laser Light Sources - building bridges between major laser and X-ray research centres

For the past half-century, two special kinds of light have changed the landscape of research. Advanced visible-spectrum optical lasers have propelled studies into ultrafast processes, new materials, telecommunications, and many other fields, while intense X-rays produced at synchrotrons have helped image tiny structures and otherwise invisible parts of matter, enabling huge leaps in biochemistry, pharmacology, and materials science. New developments in recent years have led to a convergence between the uses of the two kinds of light at large international research centres. The European Union is now funding a 7 million-euro effort to bring laser and X-ray research infrastructures together through the European Cluster of Advanced Laser Light Sources (EUCALL) project.

The aim of EUCALL is to support the efficient implementation and operation of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) advanced laser light source projects ELI and European XFEL, and to initiate a process assuring that the ensemble of Advanced Laser Light Research Infrastructures (ALL-RIs) is optimally used and further developed for science and innovation in Europe.

This aim is translated into three major goals:

  • To develop and implement cross-cutting services for the photon-oriented ESFRI projects in order to support their efficient implementation and operation.
  • To optimize the use of the ALL-RIs in Europe by efficient resource management and enhanced interoperability, ensuring global competitiveness.
  • To stimulate and support common long-term strategies and research policies for the application of laser-like short-wavelength radiation in science and innovation.

These goals will be reached by achieving eight main objectives as indicated in Figure 1. Four of the objectives are related to synergy activities and four are of technical nature. As indicated in Figure 1 each of these objectives serves the goals of EUCALL in multiple ways. The experience and know-how of the ensemble of ALL-RIs and their user communities shall be utilized in the activities relating to these objectives.



Figure: Goals and objectives of the EUCALL proposal. Connecting lines indicate how the objectives relate to the goals. Objectives relating to synergy and technical development activities are indicated in green and yellow and refer to work package WP3 and WP4 – WP7, respectively