EIB signs finance deal for light source launch

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €20m (£17.4m) finance contract with Italy’s Sincrotrone Trieste for the completion and launch of the FERMI@Elettra light source.

The EIB loan will cover 50 per cent of the cost of the final phase of the project.

FERMI@Elettra is based on a newly designed free-electron laser for studying materials, which, as an international laboratory, will be open to the scientific community and companies.

The new light source is based on a linear accelerator and is about 350m long. It will produce light impulses 10 billion times brighter but also shorter than the existing Elettra storage ring, which will enable a series of images to be generated of the dynamic structure of materials (50 per second), each recorded on a time scale of the order of a ten thousandth of a billionth of a second.