Historical moments…

Inauguration d’ELYSE, en présence de : J. BELLONI, Pilote du projet, R. MESSINA, Vice-Président du Conseil Général de l’Essonne, G. BERGER, Directrice du CNRS, J.-P. HUCHON, Président du Conseil Régional d’Ile-de-France, J.-C. BERNIER, Directeur du Département des Sciences Chimiques du CNRS, A. FUCHS, Directeur du Laboratoire de Chimie Physique et X. CHAPUISAT, Président de l’Université Paris-Sud.

The project prepared by Jacqueline BELLONI, Director of research at the CNRS and then Director of the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Radiation, with the help of her team (J.-L. MARIGNIER, M. MOSTAFAVI, J. AMBLARD) was submitted in 1989 to the Research Department of the UFR d’Orsay and to the President Jack ROBERT and the Councils of the University Paris-Sud from whom it received immediate encouragement. The Presidents who followed, Alain GAUDEMER and Xavier CHAPUISAT, will maintain this support. In particular, the building of the former vertical accelerator, disused since 1988 and adjacent to the 350 where LPCR was located, was officially assigned to the project on the condition that financing for its extension/rehabilitation is obtained. The financial envelope for the launching of the project was evaluated at 42 MF with a planned participation of 15 MF (Ile-de-France Region) + 15 MF (Essonne General Council) + 5 MF (MENRT) + 5 MF (CNRS Chemical Sciences) + 2 MF (University of Paris-Sud). The MENRT and CNRS supervisors also had to commit to the 4 engineering positions essential for the project’s operation and future operating credits.

The reception to the project by the Director of the Department of Chemical Sciences of the CNRS Paul RIGNY, newly appointed in 1990, was also very positive. Michel GAILLARD, Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Photophysics, part of the same Institute of Molecular Physics and Chemistry of Orsay, was personally involved as co-pilot with Jacqueline BELLONI. Other teams of the Institute joined in. The scientific projects, the instrument specifications, and the real-estate implementation were defined during numerous consultations on a French scale. European teams also expressed their interest in accessing this high-performance instrument.

However, on the one hand, the policy of decentralization of research resources outside the Ile-de-France region, and on the other hand, the creation of new universities in the inner suburbs, pleaded with the CNRS and the Ministry of Universities for the creation of such a center in a region other than the Ile-de-France. Locations in Orleans and Strasbourg, financed by the Regions, were studied, although they implied de facto a split of the Laboratoire de Physico-Chimie des Rayonnements which had been at the origin of the project, and although the majority of the potential users were located in the Ile-de-France region. At the same time, the project was submitted by the Regional Council of Ile-de-France and the General Council of Essonne to scientific rapporteurs, who concluded positively to its relevance. The first credits were effectively voted by the Regional Council of Ile-de-France in 1993 up to 15 MF on condition that the budget be completed before 1998. Negotiations with the other financial partners, the General Council of Essonne, the Director of Chemical Sciences at the CNRS Jean-Claude BERNIER, and the Director of Research at the Ministry Bernard BLANZAT continued and finally came to a successful conclusion in 1998. Financed by all parties, the project, now called ELYSE (as LYSE by Electrons), could be carried out.

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