Impetus to the cooperation agreement between the Spanish Central Government and the Basque Country to build, equip and run the headquarters of the ESS - Bilbao European Spallation Source Bilbao (Cabinet Meeting 06-03-2018)

2018 March 6

The Basque Cabinet has approved the draft agreement validating the Addendum to the Cooperation Agreement, signed on 30 December 2010, between the Spanish Central Government and the Basque Autonomous Community to build, equip and run the Spanish headquarters of the ESS - Bilbao European Spallation Source Bilbao.

The Basque Government has approved the step once Spain’s definitive participation in ESS-ERIC had been agreed and after the contributions in kind to be made through ESS-BI had been identified and quantified.

Thus, new impetus has been given to this project in the line announced by the Basque Government's Minister for Education, Cristina Uriarte, and its Minister for Economic Development and Infrastructures, Arantxa Tapia, a few days ago.

The ESS Bilbao Steering Committee has recently appointed Mario Pérez as the centre’s executive director.

The director will be in charge of leading this new phase, when ESS Bilbao has to meet the agreed contributions to build the European spallation source in Lund (Sweden). The Basque and Spanish governments have expressed their commitment to this facility and to the process for Spain to join the European Spallation Source ERIC, which is expected to occur before the end of April this year. This step will mark Spain’s joining as a founding partner and full member of the European consortium.

ESS Bilbao is setting up work teams committed to ESS as part of the 3% contribution in kind that Spain has agreed with the European project. When the agreement between the two administrations was amended last December, both parties agreed the yearly financing conditions between 2018 and 2025.  The total budget allocated to ESS Bilbao for that period is EUR 64.5 million. The previous contributions, to the tune of EUR 49  million, have to be added to that amount.

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