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In September 2015, Jean-Maurice Ripert, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France in the Russian Federation visited the Institute of Applied Physics. The French delegation included Alexis Michel, Counselor for Science, Technology and Space of the French Embassy in Russia, and Denis Levaillant, Managing Director of Thales Optronique. Mr. Ripert met with representatives of the IAP RAS Board of Directors and leading scientists. Dr. Julien Fuchs, researcher from Ecole Polytechnique currently working at IAP RAS within the framework of one of the mega-science grant, also took part in the meeting.

Dr. Alexander Sergeev, IAP RAS Director, briefly acquainted the guests with the history of the institute, basic research activities, and most important scientific results. The French delegation also visited several research laboratories. They were especially interested in the XCELS project and expressed a hope that an international network of users will arise in the future around XCELS.

During the visit a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between IAP RAS and Thales Optronique. The parties acknowledged that the dialogue they had was constructive and helpful for consolidation of mutually beneficial cooperation between our two countries. 


In September 2015, the project CREMLIN (Connecting Russian & European Measures for Large-scale Research Infrastructures) was launched within the framework of the European program HORIZON 2020. The interest of the European Union is closely connected with XCELS and is explained by the fact that it is complementary to the European research infrastructure ELI that is one of the major projects on the road map of ESFRI. The CREMLIN project is to foster scientific cooperation between the Russian Federation and the EU in the development and scientific exploitation of large-scale research infrastructures. 13 research centers from the EU and 6 Russian institutions – participants of the project joined their efforts to form an international consortium with the intention to enhance cooperation and maximize scientific returns.

The CREMLIN kick-off meeting and opening conference were held at the National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute” in Moscow, Russia on 06-07.10.2015.

Group photo of the CREMLIN Consortium during the Kick-off Meeting in the NRC “Kurchatov Institute”, 07 October 2015

Various project-related problems, including overview and objectives, management and financial issues, exchange platform, milestones and deliverables, organization of workshops and meetings, communication and dissemination were discussed at the meeting. Also, the Consortium Board (CB) that is the ultimate decision-making body of the consortium met during the event. It was agreed that the CB meetings will take place once a year. Another CREMLIN board – Project Management Board (PMB) shall be responsible for the proper execution and implementation of the decisions of the CB will have meetings quarterly. The first meeting of the PMB was organized as a telephone conference on January 27, 2016. The main topic for discussion was the schedule of workshops and deliverables under the project. IAP RAS is expected to organize two workshops.The first one "Novel Applications of Exawatt Laser Sources" will be held on 17-23 July 2016 and the second one "Key Technological Issues in Construction and Exploitation of 100PW-class Lasers", in July 2017. Both of them are intrinsically connected with the XCELS.