This year was devoted to a greater extent to the preparation and discussion on the ESRF Upgrade Programme. Our group gave major input to the “Purple Book” on Dynamical properties and Electronic Structure in Matter (chapter 1.4). We also contributed to other chapters for subjects such as Single objects at surfaces and interfaces, Fundamental chemical reaction processes, Matter at extreme pressure and temperature, Soft and fragile matter, and Time-resolved X-ray absorption and emission spectroscopy using pump-and-probe. These topics are the main fields studied at the group’s beamlines. The scientific cases were accompanied by five Conceptual Design Reports which elaborate on the technical and methodological challenges and possible solutions (see The ESRF Science and Technology Programme 2008-2017 Vol.2).

Beyond this, the beamline operation continued with exciting experiments and results. A selection is presented in these Highlights. Investigations on glasses and liquids already have a tradition in our group and are well represented here in the contribution on Structural and collisional relaxations in liquids and supercritical fluids. In 2005 we reported on Iron oxidation state in impact glasses. In continuation of that work, new and partly unexpected results are presented here on the iron oxidation state in micro tektites. The development of new techniques also continued and is highlighted in the contributions of Complementary bulk-sensitive spectroscopies of Yb-based valence fluctuators and High-energy Mössbauer transitions in Ni using NFS.

The already well-established applications studied at the high resolution and resonance scattering beamlines follow in the second and third parts of this chapter. They are introduced and summarised by G. Kotliar, At the Interface between Experiment and Theory, and by F.M.F. de Groot, Spins probed with X-rays.

Finally, the Inelastic X-ray Scattering beamline, ID28, has passed its regular review process with great success. New ideas and developments have been proposed, which have now to be discussed in the general ESRF context in order to be implemented.

The FP6 collaboration DYNASYNC came to an end with more exceptional results than ever anticipated. One example is outlined in the contribution by T. Slezak on Phonons at the Fe (110) surface. The advances permitted by this collaboration has stimulated the community to search for means of ensuring the continunity of the project, and thus to harvest even greater gains in the future.

R. Rüffer