How industry can cooperate with ESS?

ESS, or the European Spallation Source, is an international multidisciplinary project associating 17 European countries as members and observers. As part of the project, a centre in which the world’s most powerful pulsed neutron source will be located is being built in the Swedish town of Lund. The high-tech research infrastructure will be available to scientists from all over the world. It will allow carrying out experiments with the purpose of developing projects related with particle physics, new energy sources, medicine, biochemistry or pharmacology. The organisation also is willing to cooperate with companies representing various branches of industry. It searches for providers of products and services that are essential to ensure flawless operations of such a large organisation, and that are directly related to the construction of the centre in Lund and its scientific infrastructure. How to start cooperation with this Big Science organization?


ESS carries out tender proceedings in accordance with the rules set out by the European Union. They guarantee integrity, transparency, competitiveness and impartiality of the process. There are three possibilities to start business cooperation with the European Spallation Source: participation in tender proceedings directly organised by ESS, cooperation with In-Kind Partners, cooperation with the general contractor of construction works for ESS, Skanska, as part of its own tender procedures


Participation in tenders

ESS tender proceedings, depending on the value of order, may be open, limited (composed of two stages), based on competitive negotiations or have the form of requests for quotation. The organisation does not apply geographical limitations, the proceedings may therefore be participated by companies without their registered offices in any of the member countries. ESS has issued a manual dedicated to its potential and current suppliers and  launched a portal for its suppliers.


Cooperation In-Kind Partners

Approximately 30% of the budget for the construction of ESS infrastructure (which currently amounts to EUR 1.84 bn) has the form of in-kind contribution from the organisation’s European partners. It is a unique cooperation model, which has an immensely positive effect on the development of partnership between industry and business. It guarantees that a considerable part of funds which a member country must assign to its contribution is spent on domestic market and, consequently, supports the development of local R&D centres. Each of ESS’s official partners carries out its own tender proceedings based on individual rules and procedures.

IKC Partners in Poland are:

  • The Henryk Niewodniczański Institute of Nuclear Physics at the Polish Academy of Science,
  • The National Centre for Nuclear Research,
  • The Wrocław University of Technology,
  • The Warsaw University of Technology,
  • PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna.


Cooperation with Skanska

Skanska is one of ESS In-Kind Partners, who runs its own tender proceedings in compliance, among others, with the provisions of the Swedish construction law. Companies that want to become suppliers for Skanska must pass a qualification procedure and register on the company’s suppliers portal. The portal provides complete information on tender rules, current requests and necessary contact details.

The ILO (Industry Liaison Officer) can help you establish cooperation with ESS. Polish ILO for ESS is Dariusz Bocian from IFJ PAN in Cracow. Examples of successful cooperation between ESS and Polish companies are case studies about KrioSystem and SpaceForest.