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Super laser research facilities in Hungary and the Czech Republic will form a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), Innovation and Technology Minister László Palkovics said after meeting with Czech Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček in Prague. Palkovics told MTI that the ERIC is expected to start operating in January 2020, and that other countries could join the consortium later. Italy is expected to join first, and a number of other countries, such as Germany, France and the UK, are also interested in the ERIC, he added.
The ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure) research facilities in Szeged, southern Hungary, and in Dolní Břežany, on the outskirts of Prague, offer excellent conditions for researchers in a number of sciences in addition to physics and biochemistry, Palkovics said.
The ELI facility in Hungary focuses on experiments using ultrashort light pulses and the ELI facility in the Czech Republic experiments using ultrahigh intensity light. An ELI facility near Bucharest conducts photo-induced nuclear experiments.
The two ministers also discussed bilateral cooperation opportunities in the areas of energy, innovation and modern technologies. Fielding a question on possible cooperation in the area of nuclear energy, Palkovics said an upgrade of Hungary’s Paks plant is further along than the planned expansion of the Czech Republic’s two nuclear power plants, but added that Hungary would be happy to share its experience.