NWO funds Nikhef contribution to upgrade LHC experiments

2 July 2014

State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science, Sander Dekker, and NWO Chair Jos Engelen, announced today that Nikhef has been awarded a grant of 15.2 million euros. This investment is part of the National Roadmap for Large-Scale Research Facilities. Nikhef receives 15.2 million euros for an upgrade of the three experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, to which the Dutch are making an important contribution.

Through the National Institute for Subatomic Physics Nikhef – a collaboration between FOM and four universities (UvA, VU, RU, and UU) – the Netherlands is making an important contribution to three experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva. Prof.dr. Frank Linde, UvA professor and director of Nikhef, explains how they will invest the grant of  15.2 million euros: "First major improvements will be made to the ATLAS, ALICE and LHCb detectors at CERN's Large Hadron Collider, so we can continue to benefit from the enormous discovery potential of the accelerator for a long time. As of next year, by  increasing the impact energy and intensity, we hope to be able to determine the properties of the Higgs particle very accurately, but foremost of all to make new discoveries of course. We are also particularly pleased that resources are allocated to the continuation of the national computing infrastructure, which we have built up in recent years, along with Surf Sara, thanks to the BiG Grid project. This infrastructure is  used by different research disciplines.

LHC upgrade NWO roadmap award Nikhef - credits Tineke Dijkstra

Paul de Jong receives the award from NWO chairman Jos Engelen on behalf of the team of applicants. Photo credits: Tineke Dijkstra.

ATLAS experiment

The UvA’s Institute of Physics plays an important role in the ATLAS experiment at the LHC. Prof.dr. Paul de Jong, UvA professor and program leader of the ATLAS group at Nikhef (jointly with prof. Nicolo de Groot, RU): “The awarding of our proposal is wonderful news and underscores the importance of the LHC, also for the Dutch science at large. It puts the Netherlands at the forefront in the design and production of new detectors for the ATLAS experiment, and provides our students with the best facilities for research of Higgs particles and for possible new discoveries.”

National roadmap large-scale research facilities

Each year, the Ministry for Education, Culture and Science reserves 40 million euros for the National Roadmap for Large-Scale Research Facilities and once every two years, NWO awards this funding to research teams who submit a proposal for this. An advisory committee from NWO assesses the projects submitted for scientific quality, importance for innovation, importance for the Netherlands and quality of the setup in addition to financial and technical criteria. Since 2012 a total of 29 research facilities have been on the National Roadmap for Large-Scale Research Facilities and six of these have now received funding.

NWO / Nikhef

Published by  IOP