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Helene Hellmark Knutsson is no longer a government minister, Minister for Higher Education and Research


How ESS will lead the research community – the Government launches a new strategy for the Lund facility


“Advanced research in materials and life sciences is essential for tackling our major social challenges. ESS and MAX IV in Lund are two internationally unique research infrastructure facilities. But to become an internationally leading centre, we need clearer objectives, more efficient coordination and an overarching vision. This is why the Government has drawn up an ESS strategy,” says Minister for Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson.

Energy, food, pharmaceutical products and packaging are some of the important fields of research in which the European Spallation Source (ESS) and MAX IV could provide scientific breakthroughs. In a written communication to the Riksdag, the Government has now presented a national strategy for Sweden's work at the research facilities. The strategy will strengthen action, increase and broaden engagement, and create long-term conditions for relevant actors – higher education institutions, research funders and the business sector. The Government will follow up the strategy through instructions to relevant government agencies.

What the Government wants:

  • Research at ESS and MAX IV will help us tackle our major societal and environmental challenges.
  • ESS will be a climate-smart facility for world-leading materials research.
  • ESS and MAX IV efforts should be coordinated to ensure increased synergy effects.
  • Knowledge-building and skills supply will be reinforced in fields that are relevant for ESS and MAX IV.
  • An ESS Secretariat and a strategic council (advising the Government) will be established for better national coordination of Swedish efforts.
  • Increased participation from the business sector in ESS and MAX IV.
  • ESS and MAX IV will help to increase interest in educational programmes in natural sciences and technology.
  • ESS and MAX IV will help promote Sweden as a knowledge nation.

The strategy is based on the Government's research policy objectives. The ambition is to strengthen independent research while linking research policy to the global social challenges that are relevant to our society – the climate and environment, health and increasing digital transformation.

Press contact

Sam Assadi
Press Secretary to Minister for Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00

This is ESS

The European Spallation Source (ESS) is an international research facility currently under construction in Lund. The facility is a neutron source and can be compared with a giant microscope, enabling the structure and function of many types of materials to be studied. Similar facilities are found in other countries around the world, but the intensity of the neutron stream at ESS will be up to 100 times more powerful. This will pave the way for entirely new types of studies that have not been possible previously. ESS will be used in a number of sciences, such as materials and life sciences, chemistry, biology and geophysics. ESS has 13 member states and is expected to be fully operational by 2025.

This is MAX IV

MAX IV is a national research facility at Lund University for studying the make-up, qualities and functions of various materials by means of intense X-rays (synchrotron light). MAX IV is a type of microscope and is a complementary technology to ESS. The facility is the world’s most modern in its field, and is intended to be used by many disciplines as a powerful research tool in fields such as biology, chemistry, physics and medicine.