European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

Since 1988 the ESRF has become a beacon for synchrotron science worldwide, expanding knowledge boundaries across domains and setting new standards in international cooperation.

 The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) was conceived in 1988 as a true European collaboration for the advancement of X-ray science, with eleven countries joining forces to build the world’s most advanced « third-generation » light source. Some thirty years later, the ESRF opened its Extremely Brilliant Source (EBS), a brand-new generation of high-energy synchrotron – 10 trillion times more powerful than medical X-rays – which has opened new vistas for the research community to unlock the secrets of matter at the molecular and atomic levels.

Based in Grenoble, France, the ESRF-EBS welcomes thousands of scientists each year from around the world to conduct experiments within its facilities. Acclaimed as an international centre of excellence for fundamental research, it provides unrivalled opportunities for scientists in the exploration of materials and living matter in a huge variety of fields – from chemistry and archaeology, to structural biology, metallurgy and nanotechnologies. Equally, the ESRF plays a key role in stimulating innovation and enhancing industrial competitiveness, working extensively with companies across sectors to address issues related to the full life cycle of materials.

In terms of its wider contribution to society, the ESRF has also defined seven strategic goals for the Extremely Brilliant Source, linking UNESCO's objectives for sustainable development with the global challenges identified by the EU's Horizon Europe programme:

  1. Health innovation, overcoming diseases and pandemics
  2. Materials for tomorrow's innovative and sustainable industry
  3. Clean energy transition, sustainable energy storage and clean hydrogen technologies
  4. Planetary research and geoscience
  5. Environmental and climate challenges
  6. Bio-based economy and food security
  7. Humanity and world cultural heritage 

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