Start of European project CRISP – Joint venture for tomorrow’s research

The development of accelerators, experiments and IT becomes more and more expensive and complex. Within the framework of the European project CRISP, 16 European physics research centres interlink for the first time to collaborate on central technical issues for their future research infrastructures to profit from each other. DESY has taken over the leadership in the accelerator sector with its work for free-electron lasers. This week the Cluster for Research Infrastructure Synergies in Physics (CRISP) was launched at the Czech embassy in Paris.

In the coming three years, CRISP will explore four core fields for tomorrow’s research:

  • Accelerators
  • Instruments and experiments
  • Detectors and data acquisition
  • Information technology and data management


The EU project funded with 12 million euros regards accelerator advancement as a prerequisite to provide future research projects with state-of-the-art X-ray, ion and neutron sources, and to successfully cope with future challenges in nuclear and high energy physics.

Here, superconducting accelerator structures as they are used at FLASH and the European XFEL have set the quasi-standard for future large accelerator projects. The know-how gathered at projects as the free-electron lasers in Hamburg is to develop into an industrial standard for commercial production of such structures.

DESY will also make important contributions in the other three fields. Only new measuring instruments with a resolution in the femtosecond range (thousandths of a millionth of a millionth of a seconds) are able to open up the observation possibilities obtainable with free-electron lasers. Correspondingly high are the standards required for accelerators; therefore, a carbon dioxide cooling will be developed within the framework of CRISP; and also the data acquisition standards. Last but not least, information technology meets completely new challenges. Here, CRISP will develop a common solution for high-speed recording and storage, and test processing concepts like distributed computing.

CRISP aims at developing synergies between eleven major research infrastructures, which are planned or already under construction. These projects are part of the roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and include European XFEL, ESS, ELI, EuroFEL, ILC-HiGrade and SKA as well as upgrades of ESRFUP, FAIR, ILL, SLHC and SPIRAL.

European Union research funding more and more becomes an important tool to intensify cooperation of scientists in Europe.  Apart from the scientific goals, networking of partner institutes and joint and coordinated strategic handling of research themes is of great interest for DESY – in some cases, up to 50 partners are working together.

CRISP Kick-off meeting at the Czech embassy in Paris