European Laboratories for Accelerator Based Sciences (EURO-LABS) aims to provide unified transnational access to leading research infrastructures across Europe. Taking over from previously running independent programmes, it brings together the nuclear physics, the high-energy accelerator, and the high-energy detector R&D communities. With 33 partners from European countries, EURO-LABS forms a large network of laboratories and institutes ranging from modest sized test infrastructures to large-scale ESFRI facilities such as SPIRAL2. Its goal is to enable research at the technological frontiers in accelerator and detector development and to open wider avenues in both basic and applied research in diverse topics, from optimal running of reactors to mimicking reactions in the stars. Within this large network, EURO-LABS will ensure diversity and actively support researchers from different nationalities, gender, age, grade, and variety of professional expertise.
Sharing information to support users at test facilities is pivotal. Targeted improvements such as new isotope-enriched targets for high-quality standard medical radioisotope production, improved beam- profile monitors, or magnetic-field measurement instruments in cryogenic conditions will further enhance the capabilities of facilities to address the challenges of the coming decades. Through an active and open data management plan following the FAIR principle, EURO-LABS will act as a gateway for information to facilitate research across disciplines and provide training for young researchers.
Funded by the European Commission, EURO-LABS started on 1 September and will run until August 2026. At the kick off meeting, held in Bologna from 3 to 5 October, presentations offered a detailed overview of the research infrastructures and facilities providing particle and ion beams at energies from meV to GeV. Exchanges during the meeting gave participants a view of the strengths and synergies on offer, planting the seeds for fruitful collaborations.
Prospects for testing and developing techniques for present and future accelerators were among the highlights of the meeting. In the high-energy accelerator sector, this requires state of the art test benches for cryogenic equipment such as magnets, superconducting cavities and associated novel materials, electron and plasma beams, as well as specialised test-beam facilities. Facilities at CERN, DESY and PSI, for example, allow the study of performances and radiation effects on detectors for the HL-LHC and beyond while also enabling nuclei to be explored under extreme conditions. Benefiting from past experiences, a streamlined procedure for handling transnational-access applications to all research infrastructures across the different fields of EURO-LABS was defined.
On the last day of the meeting, the consortium’s governing board, chaired by Edda Gschwendtner (CERN), met for the first time. The governing board further appointed Navin Alahari (GANIL, France) as EURO-LABS scienfitic coordinator, Paolo Giacomelli (INFN-BO, Italy) as project corodinator, Maria Colonna (INFN-LNS, Italy), Ilias Efhymiopoulos (CERN) and Marko Mikuz (Univ.Lubljana, Slovenia) as deputy scientific coordinator and work-package and Maria J G Borge (CSIC, Spain) and Adam Maj (IFJ, Poland) as work-package leaders.
With all facilities declaring their readiness to receive the first transnational users, the next annual meeting will be hosted by IFJ-PAN in Krakow, Poland.