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SOLEIL was made possible through support from firmly committed partners at its side. Historically speaking, 5 organisations, together with the State, are actively investing in SOLEIL’s activities:

  • the two biggest organisations in French research, the CNRS and the CEA  
  • three local authorities: Ile-de-France Regional Council, Essonne Departmental Council and Centre Regional Council.

Seeking out new partners is key to SOLEIL’s development, whether they be scientific or industrial partnerships.

The CNRS and the CEA: central partners

The CNRS and the CEA are shareholders in the Synchrotron SOLEIL Public Company, which was established on 16 October 2001 by these two leading French research organisations. They hold a 72% and 28% share in the company, respectively.

For both the CNRS and the CEA, the synchrotron beam is a vital tool to further fundamental knowledge and its applications. In addition, developing and using it makes a strong contribution to advances in techniques (accelerator physics, optics, detectors, etc.). After observing the needs to use synchrotron beams in increasingly varied disciplines, both in France and abroad, they wanted to join forces to build, operate and develop a synchrotron facility, formed from an ultra-high-performance light source and innovative beamlines for use by their scientific communities.

Local authorities: key partners

Ile-de-France Regional Council and Essonne Departmental Council are SOLEIL’s main partners. They have actively supported the project from the outset and worked hard to complete it. They have also made significant contributions to funding its construction and now rigorously monitor its development.

In October 2002, these two local authorities, together with the State, signed an agreement to:

  • encourage small and medium-sized companies to use synchrotron techniques;
  • guarantee good use of SOLEIL by the region’s scientists (especially young researchers in training, PhD and Post-Doc students);
  • participate in policies to develop scientific literacy geared to the general public and school audiences;
  • contribute €183m, amounting to almost 60% of construction costs.

Shortly after, Centre Regional Council also wanted to partner up with SOLEIL, in a structured and exemplary partnership arrangement on several fronts: its involvement in beamline development to facilitate access for its students and researchers to the SOLEIL facility. These beamlines are also open to the national community as part of a multidisciplinary cooperation initiative.

Partnerships in France, Europe and worldwide

The development of SOLEIL’s partnership policy focuses on two main priorities: research partnerships (research activities in the strict sense + instrumentation developments) and industrial partnerships (link to the “Enterprise” area) to promote scientific research and technological development undertaken at SOLEIL.