Since November 2020, ESUO, the European Synchrotron and FEL User Organisation has been an official partner of LEAPS. LEAPS General Assembly has endorsed this strategic partnership following a fruitful exchange in elaborating common goals and visions.
ESUO represents about 25 000 users of LEAPS facilities and its vision is to support a thriving (European) synchrotron and FEL user community, working towards equal opportunities for access and participation for all scientists based solely on the scientific merit of their ideas 1.
On April 9th, 2021, the ESUO chair Ullrich Pietsch, together with other ESUO representatives, was invited to attend a dedicated session of the 13th LEAPS General Assembly meeting. This invitation was prepared by the LEAPS task force chaired by Jan Lüning (HZB) during summer 2021, with the aim of defining the common interests of the two organisations and wishes for the LEAPS-ESUO strategic partnership. During the April meeting, ESUO presented proposed ESUO medium-term activities as part of the H2020 European CALIPSOplus project and LEAPS, as elaborated by the ESUO executive committee during the preceding weeks (http://www.esuo.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Proposed-medium-term-activities.pdf). The presentation given by the ESUO chair to synchrotron and FEL directors / director representatives was well received and was followed by fruitful exchanges focusing on the role of ESUO in helping LEAPS and the synchrotron and FEL community tackle Grand Challenges, and the collective scientific challenges that LEAPS and ESUO have a common interest in, whereby ESUO can assist in i.e.
(i) identifying specific expert user groups in order to ensure that some specialties / scientific areas are not missed;
(ii) addressing specific Horizon Europe calls, together with LEAPS as part of the LEAPS strategy groups.
ESUO was encouraged by LEAPS to move forward with concrete actions on regional user meetings (outreach), e.g. in countries eligible for widening support. Furthermore, LEAPS offered to help identify users as support to create new national user organisations (NUOs) / regional user organisations (RUOs), if applicable. During that meeting ESUO proposed some ESUO delegates to work in the LEAPS working groups (https://leaps-initiative.eu/about/organisation/) in order to foster exchanges, to propose ideas and to further collaborate with LEAPS as part of such working groups.
Until now Transnational Access (TNA) to CALIPSOplus facilities has been funded by the CALIPSOplus project2. This funding scheme will continue until the end of October 2021. No continuation of funding exists to date, but the perspectives for the users to continue to take advantage of the very fruitful instrument that TNA represents are being discussed and we foresee that this question will be resolved.
Finally, we like to inform readers about current activities to transform ESUO into a legal entity based on Belgian law. The registration is being performed by the current members of the ESUO executive board and is based on a preliminary statute foreseen to be discussed and proposed for approval at the upcoming ESUO general assembly planned in September 2021.
by Annick Froideval