ESRF – European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

Courtesy ESRF

General Description

The ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) is one of the world’s most intense sources of x-rays and is used for fundamental and innovation-driven research in condensed and living matter science. It is located in Grenoble, France, employs more than 600 staff and has been operational since 1994.

X-rays at the ESRF are 10'000 billion times brighter than those delivered by standard hospital x-ray equipment. An electron beam circulating in a 320m diameter vacuum tube storage ring passes through arrays of magnets (undulators) which generates intense beams of x-rays for use in 42 beamline experiments. The circulating electron beam has an energy of 6 GeV. 

The ESRF has embarked upon an ambitious and innovative modernisation project, the Upgrade Programme. Phase I (2009-2015) delivered new instruments, improved the quality of the x-ray light, and expanded the office and administration facilities. Phase 2 (2015-2022) is the construction of the ESRF Extremely Brilliant Source (ESRF-EBS), a new storage ring built inside the existing infrastructure with performance increased by a factor of 100.

This programme will require industry engagement for the development of innovative magnets, complex ultra-high vacuum systems, precision nano-mechanics and x-ray optical components, novel x-ray detection systems and a new generation of IT infrastructure for vast data handling.

Founding year: 1988   Members (13): France, Germany, Italy, UK, Spain, Switzerland, Benesync (Belgium, Netherlands), Nordsync (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden), Russian Federation (since 2015)

Scientific Associates (8): Austria, Israel, Poland, Portugal, Centralsync (Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia), South Africa

ESRF Budget 2016: ~107 M€

Swiss financial contribution: ~4%

Swiss geo-return 2016: The geo-return coefficient is 1.67 when smoothed over 3 years as shown here

Swiss involved research institutes: Participation of 36 Swiss academic labs belonging to Uni BS, BE, FR, GE, ZH, ETHZ, EPFL, IBM Rüschlikon

Procurement policy

ESRF purchases goods and services in relation to its own procurement rules. Tenders are not disclosed on ESRF’s webpage.

A list of forthcoming tenders is announced during a Purchasing Advisor event organized twice a year.

In order to qualify for a specific tender, companies must be already known and selected by the ESRF or proposed by their national Industry Liaison Officer.

  • Orders above 50k€: must undergo an evaluation procedure and obtain at least three offers from suppliers among the member countries.
  • Orders above 500k€: a ‘Purchasing Event Committee’ is set up.
  • Orders above 5M€: these are arbitrated by the ESRF Council.

A fair geographical return principle is written in the ESRF member agreement terms. Yearly statistics on geographical return are available.