Final ILIAS Annual Meeting on February 16-19, 2009
[Published on: December 17th, 2008]

The 6th and final ILIAS Annual Meeting will take place on February 16 - 19, 2009 at the Conference Center "House of the Church" in Dresden (Germany) hosted by the University of Technology Dresden . This last meeting will be the occasion to summarise and underline the achievements and the boost that this program gave to Astroparticle Physics in the underground physics and infrastructure world, and in the gravitational wave search field.
The scientific program will include invited talks by "external" scientists on related topics and developments of other, similar projects.

Meeting website

  Einstein Telescope receives ILIAS-GWA heritage
[Published on: November 7th, 2008]

With ILIAS approaching its end, Networking Activity NA5 can already claim having successfully accomplished its overall aim of improved collaboration between the different European components of the Gravitational Wave (GW) scientific community.
Besides achievements such as production of joint scientific articles and exchange of information and personnel, also, and most important, the drafting of a common future scenario for the GW research in Europe has been achieved. Indeed, in the last years, the idea of a so-called 3rd generation GW detector has been the core business of NA5-WP3, with a synergic support in the maturation of the subject provided by other components of ILIAS (JRA3 and NA5-WP2) as well as by European institutions such as the European Science Foundation.
As a result, the Einstein Telescope (ET) Design Study proposal for a 3rd generation GW observatory was submitted within the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission (EC). ET was successfully evaluated and now the design study has just started, with an EC support of about 3 M€ distributed over three years. Eight research institutions, belonging to the ILIAS project, are collaborating to produce the conceptual design of this new generation of detector, which will be a hundred times more sensitive than current ones. The observable volume of the universe will, then, increase by a factor of a million, thus opening a new window of GW astronomy.
image: logo ET (courtesy Michelangelo)

Exploratory workshop funded by European Science Foundation

 Joint Meeting - Final ILIAS-NA5-JRA3 and first Einstein Telescope Meeting
[Published on: November 7th, 2008]

On 24 - 26 November, 2008, the EGO / Virgo site will host the first Einstein Telescope (ET) general meeting, in connection with the final ILIAS-NA5/JRA3 general meeting. This joint event proves the strong connection between the new FP7-supported activity of ET and the FP6-supported ILIAS, where important preparatory work took place.
image: ET artistic representation. Courtesy J.v.d. Brand, Nikhef

ET web site
Meeting site

 Final Meeting of the ILIAS User Selection Panel for the Transnational Access activity
[Published on: November 7th, 2008]

On October 9th, 2008, the international User Selection Panel of the Transnational Access (TA) activity met to monitor the status of this activity. The 5-years deliverable has already been achieved for LNGS, with those of LSM and Boulby being well on track. At present, 25 out of a total of 38 projects TA-supported scientific projects have been successfully completed.

TA section on ILIAS website:

 ILIAS and the 7th Framework Program of the European Commission
[Published on: September 23rd, 2008]

Since May 2005, the ILIAS community has met on a regular basis in order to discuss and prepare the future of Astroparticle Physics in Europe. This work culminated in the building of a new proposal (also called ILIAS) which was submitted in the spring 2008 within the 7th Framework Program (FP7) of the European Commission (call FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES-2008-1, published on November 30th, 2007, submission deadline February 29th, 2008).
Of a total of 140 proposals submitted to this call, 118 were approved i.e. had a score above threshold. Of these 37 proposals had an overall score of 13.5 and will be financed, while 13 were placed on a waiting list with the possibility to be financed. The ILIAS proposal occupied the 12th place on this waiting list.
We now have the regret to inform you that ILIAS will not receive financial contribution within this call of FP7. Nevertheless we take this opportunity to thank all those who have contributed to the enormous work which went into the building of the proposal: members of the present ILIAS, members of institutes wishing to participate in the FP7 project and, last but not least, Andrea Giuliani (INFN) for his efforts in co-ordinating the preparatory work.
Finally, we inform you that the next relevant FP7 call will be published by the European Commission in 2010.

More information on call FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES-2008-1

 ILIAS at the Euroscience Open Forum 2008
[Published on: September 15th, 2008]

The Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF), one of Europe’s main events which brings together scientists from all fields, decision makers and the general public, took place during July 18 – 22, 2008, in Barcelona, Spain. On this occasion ILIAS joined ASPERA in its participation to the outreach activities, an excellent opportunity to present astroparticle science in Europe to a broader audience. ILIAS contributed with a film about its activities dedicated to Dark Matter searches and with two posters giving an overview of all its activities.

ESOF 2008 Official Site
ILIAS posters

 Novel type of neutron detector at Modane Underground Laboratory (LSM)
[Published on: September 15th, 2008]

For the 1st time a new type of neutron detector has been put into operation in the framework of JRA1 (Low Background Techniques for Deep-Underground Science activity), at the Modane Underground Laboratory. Access to the detector is coordinated via a Transnational Access programme.
The detector consists of a sphere of approximately 1.2 m in diameter, filled with a gaseous mixture of Argon and He3. Measurements performed during its operation in the initially intended conditions have revealed that it has excellent sensitivity to measurements of the flux of thermal neutrons.

Click here for a more detailed presentation

 Gran Sasso Open Day - May 18th, 2008
[Published on: May 13th, 2008]

The Gran Sasso National Laboratory is organizing the 7th edition of the Open Day scheduled for May 18th.
The external lab will stay open all the day long, from 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m., with a series of initiatives for the visitors. After the awards of the competition "Anch'io scienziato", a competition which involves all the schools of Abruzzo region, there will be seminars, exposition of small experiments realized by students of high schools of the surrounfing areas, jugglers for youngers, the show enitled "Superheroes' Science" and the musical " Momentarily dreaming Broadway".
Also this year representatives from ILIAS will display in a stand the brochures and movies related to other European Underground Laboratories research activities.

More information

 Follow-up to the 5th ILIAS Annual Meeting
[Published on: March 18th, 2008]

On February 19-21, 2008, some 70 scientists met in Jaca, near the Spanish Canfranc Underground Laboratory (LSC), on the occasion of the 5th ILIAS Annual Meeting. This event, jointly organized by University of Zaragoza, LSC and CEA Management Team, was opened by the town Mayor. On the afternoon of the last day, the ILIAS-Next community gathered for a concluding discussion on the FP7 proposal.
On the Monday preceding the meeting LSC Director Alessandro Bettini, LNGS Director Eugenio Coccia, LSC Associated Director Julio Morales and ILIAS Coordinator Gilles Gerbier met with the local press for a press conference. Also in connection to this event, Eugenio Coccia gave a public lecture in Spanish entitled “Las invisible luz de las estrellas”.
Photos from the Annual Meeting and other documents including presentations are available via the link below.

More information

 First Meeting of the LSC Scientific Committee takes place at Canfranc
[Published on: February 15th, 2008]

The new International Scientific Committee of the LSC had its first meeting on January 25th, 2008, in Canfranc, Spain.
In this meeting seven experimental proposals presented by different research groups were examined and evaluated.
The Committee is composed by Frank Avignone (Carolina U.), president; Elena Aprile (Columbia U.), Laura Baudis (Zurich U.), Yves Declais (Lyon U.), Juan Fuster (IFIC and Valencia U.), Andrés Gadea (Valencia U. and Legnaro lab.), Belén Gavela (Autónoma de Madrid) and Chang-Kee Jung (Stony Brook U.).
More information is available at, under the "Events" section.

More information

 "From Data to WIMP Limits" Training Session of the Dark Matter Network (NA3)
[Published on: February 15th, 2008]

From January 11-14, 2008, the ILIAS Dark Matter Network held a training session on the data analysis of experiments from direct Dark Matter searches, in Aussois near the Modane Underground Laboratory (LSM).
30 participants, mostly PhD students and Post Docs from all over Europe, very much enjoyed the lectures by Richard Schnee (Syracuse University, USA). In his lectures Richard Schnee introduced how signals are filtered and fitted to obtain best estimates on the energy, how decision trees and neural networks work and how to use the different statistical tools to deduce WIMP limits. The afternoons were dedicated to practise via exercises.
In addition, several talks were given by experimentalists from the different European direct Dark Matter experiments and an introduction to the Dark Matter Web tool (DAMNED) was given.
The participants found the training session extremely helpful.

This training session builds on the success of previous sessions on Supersymmetry (“Hands on SUSY” at Aussois) and on Axions (AXION-WIMP-Training sessions at CERN and Patras U.), and represents some of the most successful achievements of the Dark Matter Network, which would not have been possible without ILIAS.

Meeting website

 Next ILIAS Annual Meeting on February 19-21, 2008
[Published on: December 21st, 2007]

The 5th ILIAS Annual Meeting will be held on February 19-21, 2008 in Spanish city of Jaca, near Canfranc Underground Laboratory. At the end of the meeting, on the afternoon of February 21, the ILIAS-Next community will meet and discuss the status of the FP7 proposal.
The event will be organized by Management Team of CEA in collaboration with University of Zaragoza.

Meeting website

 8th meeting of the Transnational Access User Selection Panel
[Published on: December 21st, 2007]

On November 12, 2007, the User Selection Panel of the ILIAS Transnational Access activity met in order to evaluate the projects presented at the latest call for proposals with deadline on September 30th. This 8th call for proposals represents the next-to-last one in the ILIAS framework.
Five new proposals were discussed and three of them were approved, two of which at the Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory and one at the Boulby Underground Laboratory.

Click here for more information

 Arrival of new detector at the Modane Underground Laboratory (LSM)
[Published on: December 21st, 2007]

On September 20th, the new semi-planar ultra-low background Ge detector arrived at the Modane Underground Laboratory (LSM).
As part of the deliverables of the JRA1 Activity on Low Background Techniques for Deep-Underground Science, the detector was financed by ILIAS for measurements of gamma spectroscopy.
The detector was developed in collaboration with Canberra-Eurysis in order to have the lowest possible intrinsic radioactivity. As additional technical features, the cooling is achieved with the help of a dedicated low vibration induced pulse tube. This new method differs from the traditional method which employs liquid Nitrogen and is much more economic in terms of money and time, especially in an environment such as an underground laboratory. A further improvement is the exploitation of the pulse-shape in the data analysis to reduce noise at lowest energies.
Work on detector characterisation is ongoing.
photo: Pia Loaiza (JRA1) receiving the detector at LSM

 ILIAS Photo Gallery now available!
[Published on: December 21st, 2007]

Visit our Photo Gallery now available via the Communication section of our website for a glimpse into the activities that go on at the ILIAS laboratories around Europe.

ILIAS Photo Gallery

 In memory of our Turkish Collaborators
[Published on: December 1st, 2007]

On November 30, 2007, ILIAS lost its Turkish participants, Engin Arik and Berkol Dogan, in an airplane crash. Konstantin Zioutas, collaborator in the Direct Dark Matter Detection activity (NA3) and close friend, met with the families of the victims to transmit the condolences on behalf of the whole ILIAS collaboration.

 Launch of the new ILIAS website
[Published on: October 29th, 2007]

Dear ILIAS community member!
Welcome to the new and improved ILIAS website! New features include a searchable Database for the publications arising from ILIAS work as well as a searchable Database of the Technical Reports appearing in the Annual Reports. Moreover, the News section brings you the latest results and events about ILIAS and about the preparation of the future of Astroparticle Physics in Europe via e.g. the ILIAS-Next project. You are welcome to contribute to this section by contacting your Activity Coordinator!

 Follow up to the 4th ILIAS Annual Meeting
[Published on: October 26th, 2007]

On 26-28 February 2007 the Management Team (CEA) and CNRS jointly organized the 4th ILIAS Annual Meeting, in Chambéry, France. Some 110 scientists including 10 invited speakers participated to the event, which had been mediatised in the local press and was opened by Chambéry Mayor and former French Minister L. Besson.
ILIAS Peer-Review Committee chair F. Avignone presented the Committee’s findings evaluation and recommendations for ILIAS after 2 ½ years of running.
This was also the occasion to hold the Mid-Term Review, conducted by European Commission Project Officers G. Larsen and E. Righi-Steele. The result of the evaluation was very positive as the EC Research Directorate evaluated the ILIAS Project work as "good to excellent", which represents the highest possible mark!
Selected talks of the meeting will be published for proceedings with European Physical Journal A.
An evening dedicated to the general public was organized in connection to the meeting, with a public lecture by invited speaker Richard Taillet (LAPTH, France) followed by a questions-and-answers session.
Photos from the meeting and other documents are available via the link below.
Last but not least, we are already preparing the next Annual Meeting.

Click here for more information

 Next CoMag Meeting on November 22nd, 2007
[Published on: October 26th, 2007]

The 5th meeting of the ILIAS Underground Labs directors’ board (CoMag) will be held in Zaragoza, Spain, on November 22nd, 2007.
At this occasion, representatives of Underground Activities from Finland, Poland and Romania are invited to present the status and perspectives of their activities in the underground laboratory/cavity/ project they are involved in.
The meeting will be organised in connection to the joint meeting of the N2 and JRA1 working groups involved in Underground Labs coordination and R&D, thus offering to the invited CoMag participants possibilities to learn more about the ILIAS activities.

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