It was a gloriously sunny day last Tuesday (24th May) when we welcomed a delegation of regional politicians from the area of Oeste, a developing innovation area to the north of Lisbon. The delegation of 20 people, photographed below in front of our energy-delivering giraffe, were elected leaders of communes and towns from Oeste who were travelling around Scandinavia on a fact-finding tour. They had first visited Copenhagen and Helsingborg before visiting us and then concluding their tour in Stockholm.
It was the first official visit that we had hosted in our newly renovated Möllegården visitor centre on the Science Village site. The visitors were particularly interested in the environmental aspects of what was happening at Brunnshög, the renovation of the old windmill, the vast construction site of the ESS and the shining ring of the MAX IV synchrotron. They were keen to know what the benefits to the man and woman in the street are when it comes to research on materials. Materials science is perhaps a less headline-grabbing scientific discipline than the captivating images from the Hubble telescope or the apparently inexplicable consequences of the Higgs boson. They were also curious to learn about the business model for Science Village Scandinavia and they grasped quite readily the way in which SVS will support and add value to the scientific research that will be carried out on MAX IV and ESS.
Following presentations of SVS itself and the ongoing work at ESS, and being surprised by a resident Portuguese staff member from ESS addressing them in their native tongue, we moved on to MAX IV where they met by chance leaders of Lund University and were able to enter the MAX IV experimental hall and see for themselves the scale of such a research facility. In the photograph Tutti Johansson Falk is telling the visitors they are getting ready for the official opening ceremony on June 21st.
The group then boarded the bus that had brought them from Copenhagen and we drove on through the Ideon Science and Innovation Park and the science campus of Lund University, stopping briefly outside Lund Cathedral to see the mediaeval centre of the city which today is embracing future technologies. We said goodbye to them as they left for Sturup airport and on to Stockholm. We’re hopeful that this visit will be the beginning of continued exchanges and collaborative projects. We wish them well and thank them for their visit.