Steering Committee Meeting at PSI

The Steering Committee (SC) of FELs of Europe (FoE) met in Villigen on 5 and 6 of October 2017. The meeting was hosted by the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI). Gabriel Aeppli, member of the PSI board of directors, in his welcome address to the SC pointed out the importance of this collaboration in particular in such exciting time for FEL facilities in Europe, with the new sources European XFEL and SwissFEL in the process of starting the operation for users. Indeed, the visit to the SwissFEL user facilities at the end of the first meeting day allowed the SC members to get a taste of the great scientific opportunities which will be available thanks to this new source.

In the frame of collaboration between light sources, the interaction between FoE and LEAPS will become of paramount importance. So a large part of the meeting has been dedicated to discuss the opportunities for the FEL community within LEAPS and the envisaged role for FoE as a Strategy Group on FELs within this new initiative. Another important aspect is of course the analysis of FEL facilities user strategies and policies. Thus, the SC of FoE invited Jan L√ľning, FEL user representative within the ESUO, to a conversation to explore possible synergies between FoE and ESUO. The discussion turned out to be alive and fruitful, and a number of common initiatives have been explored.

Other important topics discussed at the meeting were an update on the organisation of next year's Science@FEL conference in Stockholm and PhotonDiag in Hamburg. Information was exchanged on EU projects connected to FoE, as CALIPSOPlus and CompactLight, and opportunities for future proposals were also discussed. Finally, the POLFEL initiative was presented to the SC, that endorsed this proposal.

The meeting offered also the opportunity to celebrate a farewell to Rafael Abela, the chairman of the Steering Committee until June 2017. Mirjam Van Daalen is the new representative of PSI within the FoE Steering Committee.