Skip to main content

Israel renews its scientific association with the ESRF


Twenty-five years after joining the ESRF, Israel has renewed its Scientific Associate status with the facility, paving the way for its scientific community to benefit from the ESRF-Extremely Brilliant Source.

  • Share

On 29 November 2023, the President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, David Harel, the Chair of the ESRF Council, Helmut Dosch, and the ESRF Director General, Francesco Sette, signed the renewal of the scientific association of Israel to the ESRF in a ceremony that took place in Grenoble in the presence of the ESRF Council delegates, including the Israeli representative, Yuval Golan, after the 81st meeting of the ESRF Council.

Helmut Dosch and Francesco Sette both praised the excellent work of Israeli researchers at the ESRF and their remarkable contribution to the ESRF’s science programme and activities. Israel joined the ESRF 25 years ago, in 1998, and its use of the facility has steadily increased over the years, along with a very productive and rich international collaboration with the ESRF wider scientific community. Over this period, Israel has actively participated in all efforts in science and technology at the ESRF, including its entire Upgrade Programme (2009-2023).

Francesco Sette emphasised that Israel and the ESRF have a long history of collaboration, with Israeli scientists involved in the ESRF since the start of operation of the facility, contributing excellent ideas and producing outstanding science, key to addressing the most pressing societal challenges. As examples, he evoked the two Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, awarded respectively in 2009 to Ada Yonath for her work on the ribosome structure, and in 2011, to Dan Schechtman for his discovery of quasi-crystals, both long-term users of the ESRF. He expressed his and the ESRF’s gratitude to Profs. Harel and Golan for having travelled to Grenoble for this important event despite the current dramatic situation in Israel, hoping for better times soon.

Helmut Dosch expressed, on behalf of the ESRF Council, his deep appreciation for the presence of Prof. Harel in this difficult context, and acknowledged the long-standing and productive collaboration between the Israeli and ESRF communities in synchrotron research. He underlined the eminence of Israeli researchers in X-ray science, and said that he looked forward to many years of outstanding scientific achievements to come.

Prof. David Harel stated: "These are devastatingly challenging times for Israel, and will impact the entire region. Thus, now more than ever, the signing of this agreement holds profound significance for the Israeli scientific community, constituting a bright beam of hope for the future. The ESRF stands as a profound example of an establishment in which science transcends borders and nations, fostering an environment where researchers unite in shared values, exchange and generate knowledge, and cultivate scientific collaboration. Israel is proud to be part of the ESRF."