This officially makes the United Kingdom the twelfth partner country of this international research facility. The largest X ray laser in the world generates extremely intense X ray flashes that scientists from all over the world use in their research. Several years of successful scientific collaboration preceded the United Kingdom’s joining of XFEL and, during this time, research facilities in the UK already made substantial contributions to it.
The UK’s decision to join XFEL shows that science connects countries. With XFEL, a major joint research facility is being created in Europe that has a global reputation for excellence and that attracts scientists and researchers from around the world. UK permanent membership in the European XFEL is a major victory for basic research in Europe.
Georg Schütte, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, said.
Walter Lindner, State Secretary at the Federal Foreign Office, said:
We are very pleased that our current excellent partnership with the United Kingdom in the sphere of research can be continued and strengthened thanks to the UK joining this institution. This makes XFEL a successful part of the Federal Foreign Office’s activities in the global competition to win the brightest minds.
In addition to Germany, the other member states are Russia, Denmark, France, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Spain, Hungary, and now the United Kingdom. By joining the institution, each country commits to making a one time payment of 30 million euros, as well as annual contributions to the operation costs. The United Kingdom had already been involved in the negotiations to establish XFEL, but did not join until now.