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There are more than 30,000 particle accelerators in the world. What would happen if we drastically reduce the size and cost of these accelerators and increase the particle beam quality?
EuPRAXIA is an Italian-led European project with this goal: to build an innovative electron accelerator based on highly innovative technologies, which use a new generation of lasers and new plasma acceleration concepts.
Thanks to its innovative contents, the project has been selected by ESFRI (European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructures) as a research infrastructure of excellence of pan-European importance in the fields of physics and engineering and has been included in the list of eleven new research infrastructures to support for European research.
Funding to ensure the development of this initiative have approved by the European Union and the United Kingdom that have allocated 3 million euros for the preparatory phase (PP) of EuPRAXIA, in which 34 institutions from various countries participate, distributed worldwide; the EU Marie Curie Actions also provides financial support for the training of young researchers participating in the EuPRAXIA Doctoral Networkprogramme with 3.2 million euros, and the Italian Ministry of University and Research has allocated 22 million euros (EU Next Generation – PNRR) for the EuAPS (EuPRAXIA Advanced Photon Sources) project, with which EuPRAXIA intends to build a distributed infrastrucutre in Italy to provide researchers with advanced photon sources. A new beam-driven plasma acceleration facility, the first EuPRAXIA site already approved, will be built in Frascati (Italy) with a further funding of 120 million euros.
By 2024, a second site for the laser-driven plasma acceleration facility will be chosen. Leonida Gizzi, a Research Director at the National Institute of Optics of CNR and head of the “Intense Laser Irradiation Laboratory” (ILIL), confirms that INO-Pisa is a candidates to host the laser-driven EuPRAXIA Site:
“CNR is a founding member of the EuPRAXIA project, with a leading role in the development of the unique laser that should drive the plasma acceleration for the EuPRAXIA laser-guided facility. The National Institute of Optics is leading the participation of the CNR, also through the Intense Laser Irradiation Laboratory, which is attracting collaborations for the necessary scientific developments envisaged for the EuPRAXIA Preparatory Phase project. With the recent approval of the EUAPS project under the Italian PNRR, Next Generation EU and the foreseen upgrades of the facility for biomedical and industrial applications, CNR confirms its primary role in a project that is bound to deliver a profound paradigm shift of the accelerator-based photon sciences and their main societal applications which ultimately are the driving motivation behind the EuPRAXIA enterprise”.