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Groundbreaking ceremony for extension of the Helmholtz Institute Jena

10/02/2019

The structural extension of the Helmholtz Institute Jena (HI Jena) has begun, the ground-breaking ceremony has taken place. The new building, which will be erected in the immediate vicinity of the existing institute building, will create additional office, seminar and laboratory space. The groundbreaking ceremony is also an important starting signal for further fostering the successful growth of the Helmholtz Institute Jena, a branch of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH located on the campus of the Friedrich Schiller University (FSU) Jena.

After the welcome address by the Director of the Helmholtz Institute Jena, Professor Thomas Stöhlker, the Minister for Economy, Science and Digital Society of the State of Thuringia, Wolfgang Tiefensee, and the Minister for Infrastructure and Agriculture, Birgit Keller, passed on their greetings. On behalf of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung spoke Research Director Professor Karlheinz Langanke, and Professor Georg Pohnert, Vice President of Research, spoke on behalf of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

The Thuringian Ministry of Infrastructure had announced an architectural competition for the new research building. The winner was a regional office: The jury unanimously selected the design of the "Osterwold°Schmidt EXP!ANDER Architekten" office in Weimar, which had submitted the plans jointly with Impuls Landschaftsarchitektur Jena. The four-storey, cube-shaped building with a floor area of around 240 square meters connects to the target laboratory in the basement. As link to the existing institute building, an interlocking gate is planned.

The construction period for the new building, which will be erected on a slope on a federal state property within the university site, will be approximately two years. The state of Thuringia is financing the construction project and has scheduled eight million euros for it in its state budget.

With the additional institute building, the infrastructural conditions for cutting-edge research, which has been carried out at the HI Jena since the institute was founded ten years ago, will be further improved. The institute's research activities focus on the physics occurring at the border between conventional particle-acceleration technology and the fast-evolving field of laser-induced particle acceleration. The HI-Jena offers outstanding research in the field of coupling of intense photon fields and the supporting development of appropriate instrumentation. In addition, the Helmholtz Institute Jena will further expand and strengthen the close connection between the university and the large-scale research facility GSI with the international accelerator center FAIR, which is currently being built here.

Around 100 employees and associated scientists in ten working groups are currently working at the HI Jena. There is also an own research school (“Research School of Advanced Photon Science”) with around 60 doctoral students. In addition, the successful acquisition of third-party funding and regional networking – for example through cooperation and collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Optics and Precision Engineering and the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology – have increased steadily. (BP)