Dolni Brezany, Central Bohemia – A multipurpose and administrative building of the ELI Beamlines laser centre, the most expensive research facility funded from European subsidies, was opened in Dolni Brezany near Prague Tuesday.

The centre’s employees will start moving to the new building from the leased premises in Prague in July.

The total costs of the centre are put at 6.8 billion crowns, 5.8 of which will be funded by the EU.

The centre is to be in full operation as from 2018.

The project is headed by the Institute of Physics of the Czech Science Academy (AV).

The main laser building is to be approved for use in the autumn. Then research technologies will be installed there. The installation should be completed by the autumn of 2017.

In the second half of 2017, a unique laser system, developed by the American-European consortium headed by National Energetics along with experts from the AV’s Institute of Physics, should be installed there. This 10-PW laser system will be one of the four big laser devices in ELI.

Laser technologies in this centre will enable primary research in laboratories as well as research into new methods of cancer treatment and medical screening and diagnostics.

Before the construction, the ELI Beamlines project faced problems with the purchase of the building plot and an amendment to the law on public procurement. Under the legislation, a tender must be annulled if only one firm bids for the contract. However, only one firm is often able to supply such unique technologies.

The construction of the centre started in 2012 and the deadline in 2015 was postponed after an agreement with the European Commission. Construction works are to be completed by the end of this year and technologies can be installed in the following two years.

The Bogle architects studio won the best architectonic project of 2014 award for the laser centre in Dolni Brezany.