Growing Big Science in a Small Country

The US has over the years build large scale research infrastructure, which has been important for several scientific breakthrough results. Sweden is now also a Big Science facility country in collaboration with several European and global actors. Recently, the US OSI visited the south of Sweden and the world leading research facilities MAX IX Laboratory and the European Spallation Source (ESS). Max IV opened in June 2016 and ESS is currently being built. Below is a list and description of the interesting activities and facilities that is under development. You will also find information and links of how to collaborate and upcoming calls for proposal etc.


MAX IV is an X-ray infrastructure that is available to scientist from both academia and industry in the whole world. With this new laboratory it will create opportunities to understand, explain and improve the society around us. This will be done by using the highest quality of X-rays available in order to enable the study of materials. The objective is then to use MAX IV to allow scientist to develop new materials and products not existing today and even hard to imagine, such as more precise medications with fewer side-effects or stronger and lighter packing materials for the future etc.

During the visit we had the opportunity to learn more about an ongoing test by a Finnish team from University of Oulu who promoted themselves with – ‘Science with Arctic Attitude’.

Representatives from Oulu University, Region Skåne, the US Office of Science and Innovation, MAX IV and ESS.

Please, follow this link for more information of current and upcoming calls for proposals, including proposal types, research areas and the beamlines available.


Within sight from MAX IV, you find the ESS – the European Spallation Source, which is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) and a multi-disciplinary research facility based on the world’s most powerful neutron source. The facility is under construction and is one of the largest science and technology infrastructure projects being built today. It includes the most powerful linear proton accelerator ever built, a five-tonne, helium-cooled tungsten target wheel, 22 state-of-the-art neutron instruments and a supercomputing and software development centre.

Would you or your organisation like to become involved in the European Spallation Source, ESS? Here is a good link to more information on how it works.

In addition to the above-mentioned research facilities, we would also like to highlight the following initiatives:

LINXS – the Lund Institute of Advanced Neutron and X-ray Science – which is located at Lund University in order to develop a national competence center, research networking hub and think tank for the education of future generations of neutron source and synchrotron users. There is also a possibility to become a LINXS Fellow. Read more here on how to apply.

The surrounding area is also under development and divided in different projects under the name of Science Village Scandinavia.

Big Science Sweden is the official Swedish ILO-organization, helping Big Science facilities across the world finding Swedish suppliers.

Finally, large scale research infrastructure is important to solve several of the global challenges. We look forward to support and boost the Swedish-US collaboration and acknowledging the merit of working across borders.