By definition, enabling technologies provide the means to generate significant leaps in performance and capabilities of our facility and therefore underpin every aspect of the ESRF’s scientific activity. In this context, 2014 saw the concomitant execution of Phase I of the Upgrade Programme and the development of Phase II. Together with the facility operation, these two deliverables represented a real challenge in terms of resource management and scheduling. On the one hand several UPBLs went through various stages of completion, while on the other hand an in-depth reflection on the future scientific instrumentation and accelerator technology was carried out. The majority of the ESRF beamlines are expected to reap immediate performance benefits from the improved source and in many cases, novel instrumentation will be needed. The Orange Book provides a comprehensive overview of the ESRF’s strategy for developing future beamline instrumentation and infrastructure, driven by the new storage ring’s capacities.

A successful enabling technology programme is not limited to scientific instrumentation and in fact involves a very broad range of engineering areas. The content of this chapter on “Enabling Technologies” exemplifies this variety and touches a multitude of topics, all key in the current and future operation of the ESRF. The constantly growing sophistication of state-of-the-art instrumentation together with the very high expectations of our User Communities requires a holistic strategy involving many different factors that together determine the overall performance and reliability of the facility. All ESRF divisions, and in particular the two technical divisions, ISDD and TID, collaborate together to deploy state-of-the-art technologies taking into account the challenging trade-off between performance, cost, and maintenance effort.

The two first articles illustrate the impact that new cryo-cooling techniques and automation have on the new macromolecular crystallography beamlines. The third article emphasises the impact of our long-standing effort to develop generic solutions for beamline instrumentation. Similarly the fourth article recalls the importance of accurate modelling to optimise the performance of light converters that can be integrated into high spatial resolution X-ray detectors. The fifth article describes the helium recovery network, which has a significant financial impact on the use of liquid helium at the beamlines, thus making it a sustainable operation. The last article describes the implementation of the new Internet addressing scheme IPv6 for all institutes on the EPN Science Campus enabling Internet connectivity compliant and performing with countries and laboratories having adopted this new standard.

R. Dimper and J. Susini