The Basque Government and the Spanish Government agree the terms and conditions of ESS Bilbao's future role in the European consortium
The ESS Bilbao Governing Council met in Bilbao this afternoon. The Basque Government was represented by its Minister for Education and Chair of the ESS Bilbao Governing Council, Cristina Uriarte, and its Minister for Economic Development and Infrastructures, Arantxa Tapia. The Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, Carmen Vela, was representing the Spanish Government.
During the meeting, both governments agreed the terms and conditions for Spain to join the ERIC ESS (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) as a founding partner. The two governments established the economic contributions needed to comply with the agreements adopted with the ERIC to construct the infrastructure, which is scheduled to be completed by 2025.
The Spanish Government will contribute over EUR 42 million to construct the spallation centre and the amount from the Basque Government will be EUR 22 million. Those amounts include an 18 million loan for 2017. Spanish will therefore have a 3% stake in ESS Lund, which it is expected to join before April 2018.
ESS Bilbao will continue to work on previously committed equipment contributions with the European Spallation Source.
Furthermore, this agreement seeks to guarantee compliance of the initial agreement as regards driving research and transfer of knowledge to the industrial-research-scientific fabric of the Basque Country: developing science and technology, specifically in the field of particle acceleration and neutronics. In tandem to the work being carried out by ESS Bilbao, the Basque Government will allocate an equivalent economic amount to give impetus to specific scientific-technological programmes in the aforementioned areas.
Thanks to the agreement reached, the Spanish Government and the Basque Government, through the ESS Bilbao Consortium, will continue to drive one of the main European research projects.