European Commissioner Moedas wants to be ELI-NP project ambassador

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European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas wants to become ambassador of the "Extreme Light Infrastructure - Nuclear Physics" (ELI-NP) project at Magurele, Romania, saying that the project is one of the best examples of open science.

"ELI-NP is open to the world; it is open science, open innovation when the science of things that matter to the people is applied; I believe this is a unique example and I would like to become an ambassador for this project," said Moedas on a tour of the ELI-NP facility at Magurele on Tuesday.

He added that the ELI-NP is one of Europe's most important projects. "It will really be a torchbearer, the first to include three different countries, distinct funding procedures and to most it will be the best in the world, drawing people from around the world," said Moedas.

He said the project is a terrific opportunity for Romania to showcase the wonderful things it does in sciences and the fine scientists it has. There should be more talk of the project in Europe and elsewhere in the world, he said, and more people should be drawn to Magurele (southern Bucharest — editor's note) for experiments and to show the importance of making the invisible world visible.

Moedas mentioned that very little is known about dark matter, which makes up the largest share of the universe, and this project will be a way of making the dark matter more visible.

In his turn, ELI-NP Project Director Nicolae Zamfir said the value of the investment, co-funded by the European Commission under the European Regional Development Fund is 310 million euros.

"The project is designed for the construction of a new European scientific research institute. Works on it started in 2013 and we have planned on making it operational in 2019; we are half-way to implementation. Two weeks ago we took over the building from the constructor; we have started installing the large pieces of equipment as well as the experiments, which are not negligible, as they in fact make up the scientific part of the project. As far as the team is concerned, we have hired 100-120 of 200-250 scientists we would like to employ in 2019; about one third of them are from abroad, from 20 countries," Zamfir explained.

Part of his visit, Moedas presented the awards to the winners of the 'Laser in Magurele Valley competition.'

"The competition was organised by the Bucharest University of Architecture, the Bucharest Faculty of Construction, the Romanian Education Ministry and the Research Authority. It is a competition of city-planning ideas," said Adrian Curaj, the high representative of Romania's prime minister for the development of science-based ecosystems, innovation and entrepreneurship related to the ELI-NP pan-European infrastructure.AGERPRES(RO — author: Iulia Carciog, editor: Florin Marin; EN — author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Maria Voican; online editor: Maria Voican)

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