Prague, Czech Republic--The European Commission has reportedly given final clearance to build the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) in the Czech Republic. A statement from the Czech Education Ministry says the EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn delivered the necessary signature on Wednesday. The new center will be opened in Dolni Brezany near Prague in 2014.
The European Commission is expected to spend about US$400 million on each of the first three "pillars" of the Extreme Light Infrastructure—dedicated ultrafast laser laboratories in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania.
The project will help the three eastern European nations develop their own scientific infrastructure while building new labs around 10-PW-class lasers. The projects will also lay the groundwork for building the 200 PW laser at a site to be selected in 2012.
Ultimately the ELI will become the world's most powerful laser.