Initiated by France in 2005, the preparatory phase of the ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure) project, which brings together nearly 40 research institutes from 13 different European countries, is coordinated by the CNRS and managed by the Institut de Lumière Extrême (ILE, Extreme Light Institute) . The purpose of the project is to provide Europe with the world's most powerful lasers capable of delivering impulses with a power reaching 200 petawatts in the medium term. The world unique equipment will clear the way for entirely new physics. It is believed that it will make it possible to 'bang' the void and break it down into elementary antiparticles and particles. Understandably, numerous countries worldwide, no less than 13 to date, are very interested in the project.
Accordingly, three of the four countries that will be hosting the complementary sites for the new laser generation as part of a Pan-European facility, have just been selected. The target is to have the facilities up and running by the end of 2015. The sites are in the Prague outskirts, Czech Republic, Szeged, Hungary and Magurele, Rumania. The fourth country that will host the highest intensity laser scheduled for to be operational in 2015, will be selected in 2012. More than 700 million euros, of which a large share should come from European Union structural funds, will be spent to build the three pillars.
In the Czech Republic, the main mission of the facility will be to produce secondary radiation sources for societal applications, with a focus on the output of ultra-short intense pulses of high-energy particles created from compact plasma laser accelerators. In Hungary, the scientists will be studying extremely rapid phenomena at the attosecond scale, where the time scale of electron dynamics in matter is reached. In Rumania, research will focus on nuclear physics, using the very high intensity of the laser and the gamma ray it produces.
 ILE (CNRS/Polytechnique/ENSTA Paris Tech/Institut d'Optique Graduate School/Paris-Sud University)