The researchers of the UT Institute of Physics were the first in Estonia to conclude an official agreement for their contribution in the construction of one of the world’s most powerful centres of materials science, the European Spallation Source. The researchers will start developing a device that allows measuring the structure of excited biomolecules by means of extremely short optical impulses at different points of time after their excitation.
The working group lead by Jörg Pieper, Professor of Biological Physics at the University of Tartu’s Institute of Physics, will construct their measuring device specifically for the European Spallation Source (ESS). “The unprecedented number of neutrons per unit time in the ESS soon to be constructed will for the first time allow getting an accurate and sufficiently fast overview of the changes of biomolecular structure in time,” said Ott Rebane, expert of industrial relations at the Institute of Physics.
Other research groups of the University of Tartu planning to cooperate with ESS will be able to use the main section of the same agreement. Two additional working groups from the University of Tartu are currently contributing to the construction of details for the ESS and the necessary research activity in addition to Professor Jörg Pieper, but the participation of geologists, biochemists, environmental chemists, etc, is also expected.
“I am so pleased for the serious and increasing contribution of the University of Tartu’s researchers into one of Europe’s greatest scientific infrastructures ever developed. Its significance for the science of Europe and the world is highlighted by the recent decision of the European Commission to include ESS in the three top priority strategic infrastructures on the roadmap of European science, the establishment of which will be awarded significant financial support during the next EU budget period. Now we can only hope that with the help of our researchers and organisations supporting entrepreneurial activity, we can open up the centre for the use of the Estonian enterprises for the development of new products and technologies,” added Marco Kirm, Vice-Rector for Research at the University of Tartu.
The European Spallation Source is currently one of the biggest objects of scientific infrastructure with the construction officially starting in September 2014 in Sweden, Lund. Estonia is participating in the project as one of the partnering countries out of 17, promising to cover 0.25% of the project’s cost, of which 70% may be contributed indirectly.