Brussels, 25 July 2002
The German Science Council has recommended government funding for five large-scale scientific facilities that will cost 4.9 billion euro to build, more than any previous investment of its kind in Germany.
The five projects were chosen from a total of nine large-scale facility proposals submitted to the Science Council for assessment by three German research institutes.
The project proposals were divided into three categories: those deserving unconditional support, those which can be supported when certain ambiguities have been cleared up, and those that have not been accepted but could still be funded if further work on the scientific programme or the technical design for these facilities leads to further knowledge or a new project proposal.
The Chairman of the Science Council, Professor Karl Max Einhäupl, emphasised the importance of reorganising funding programmes and structures within the Federal Government, the Länder and the research organisers in order to meet the costs involved in building the new facilities. He also proposed that some of the facilities should be designed and financed as European or international facilities.
'It will be crucial in the future, too, that the procurement of large-scale facilities is centrally coordinated and that suitable initiatives are assessed according to uniform scientific and research policy criteria,' said Professor Einhäupl.
The Council believes proposals for a field laboratory and a high altitude and long range research aircraft should be given unconditional support. These facilities will provide high quality research infrastructures, contribute significantly to the development of the field of research concerned and lead to new scientific knowledge, according to the Council. The aircraft is expected to contribute to international research on global change and geophysical research.
Proposals for a TeV-energy super conducting linear accelerator, a TESLA x-ray free electron laser and an international accelerator facility for beams of ions and antiprotons will also provide new, high quality research infrastructures, but need clarification before the Council recommends support.