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European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility I3 Project

The European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility I3 (ETSF-I3) project was an Electronic Integrated Infrastructure Initiative (‘e-I3’) undertaken by the European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility network and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, and funded by the European Union's Framework Programme 7. Running for three and a half years, from January 2008 until June 2011, the project had a total budget of €4,375k and an EU contribution of €3,800k.

The European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility addresses an important need of European science and technology by providing experimental, industrial and other researchers with access to state-of-the-art computer simulation tools for electronic excited states in matter, together with high-quality support from ETSF personnel, mirroring the massive progress in the power and resolution of new European experimental facilities. All domains that need knowledge about electronic excitations, transport and spectroscopy will benefit from the ETSF, such as condensed matter physics and chemistry, biology, materials science and nanoscience, atmospheric science, and astrophysics. The ETSF provides users with computer codes, background knowledge, customised support and development, training, and collaborators to enhance their studies of the electronic and transport properties of complex or nanoscale materials. Its focus is on the rapid transfer of ground-breaking fundamental knowledge of matter, at the quantum-mechanical level, to detailed understanding and future-oriented design of prototypical or technologically relevant systems. The ETSF has been successfully designed and recently brought into operation by the Nanoquanta Network of Excellence with the support of national and local institutions.

In the ETSF-I3 project, the ETSF partnered with the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre to create a framework for deploying the ETSF infrastructure to a much wider range of users, through software, user training and projects supported by ETSF scientists. The ETSF-I3 project monitored the scientific and technological needs of users, and boosted the user-oriented development of ETSF software, algorithms and libraries, which were made available on the most advanced computational platforms. The project was crucial in keeping the ETSF at the forefront of knowledge and establishing it as the world-wide reference centre for modelling of electronic excited states.

During the project, numerous enhancements of the scientific codes were made. In addition, the project helped to fund numerous training sessions and scientific presentations, resulted in over 180 scientific publications, and funded 68 collaborative and training user projects, out of a total of 109 user projects that were undertaken during the ETSF-I3’s lifetime, from users across 18 European countries.

The European Commission’s experts reported in their final review of the project that:

"The project has delivered positive impacts by providing an e-infrastructure which is enabling scientists in many European countries to take part in collaborative research of high quality. The field of theoretical spectroscopy is relevant to many scientific and technical areas which have economic and environmental impacts, particularly those related to nanotechnology, such as photo-voltaics.

The ETSF has also developed partnerships with experimental facilities and with industry, which will help to support its sustainability. This is an important achievement of the ETSF-I3 project, that will help the valuable activity of the project to continue. The project has resulted in benefits in line with the aims of the FP7 scheme, namely enabling scientists and technologists in academia and industry throughout the ERA to exploit e-infrastructures for improved collaboration and productivity."