Swiss scientists to retain access to one of world’s most powerful neutron sources

Press releases, 06.06.2024

On 6 June, State Secretary Martina Hirayama signed an agreement on behalf of the Federal Council to renew Switzerland's participation in the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble (France) from 2024. This will consolidate Switzerland's position in a key sector of the European Research Area: Swiss scientists will continue to be able to use a unique neutron source and over 40 experimental stations for their work.

Switzerland's participation in the ILL has been renewed for an initial period running from 2024 to 2028 in exchange for a CHF 12 million funding commitment approved by the Swiss Parliament back in 2020. Switzerland's funding commitment may be increased to CHF 26.4 million and extended to 2033 if the Swiss Parliament approves the necessary funding proposal made in the Federal Council Dispatch on the Promotion of Education, Research and Innovation for 2025-2028.


The importance of the ILL for Swiss research is reflected in the intensive use that Swiss researchers make of the ILL's facilities, in the quantity and quality of research publications resulting from this use, and in the many joint projects carried out by Swiss institutions and the ILL. With the signature of this new agreement, Swiss researchers will retain access to an infrastructure deemed essential for research in a wide range of scientific fields.


The ILL was originally established in 1967 as a high-level collaborative undertaking between France and Germany, and later with the United Kingdom. There are around ten Scientific Member countries, including Switzerland since 1998, whose participation in the ILL is based on limited-term contracts. The ILL has become one of Europe's leading international research facilities. Its high-flux reactor powers some forty cutting-edge instruments used in materials science, solid-state physics, chemistry, crystallography, molecular biology, nuclear and fundamental physics, etc.

Further information:

ILL and Swiss participation
Institut Laue-Langevin

Address for enquiries:

State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI
+41 58 485 67 74


Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research