The Governing Council passed the action plan and budget for 2021 and appointed Ángel Ibarra as Acting Director of the Consortium

The Consortium to support the construction of the IFMIF-DONES particle accelerator in Granada held its first Governing Council meeting on July 5, in which both the action plan and budget for 2021 were passed. The agreement to establish the Consortium was signed last June by the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Regional Ministry for Economy Transformation, Industry, Knowledge and Universities of the Regional Government of Andalusia.

The Governing Council is the governing and administrative body of the Consortium that will set the guidelines and general operating criteria, will approve the investment and funding programs of the entity and the annual action and project plan, among other responsibilities. It will also oversee the approval of preliminary draft budgets and annual accounts.

At its first meeting, yearly executive positions, which will have a rotating basis, and other members were designated. The Presidency will be held by the General Secretary for Research of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, Rafael Rodrigo. The Vice Presidency will be held by the General Secretary of Universities, Research and Technology of the Regional Government of Andalusia, Rosa Ríos. Finally, Ángel Ibarra was appointed as Acting Director of the Consortium.

Ángel Ibarra Sánchez, research Professor at Research Public Organisms, has a broad scientific and technical and management experience in the field of fusion, particularly in the area related to IFMIF-DONES, fusion materials. Ángel Ibarra has also fulfilled significant responsibilities within the European Fusion Program.

Budget and action plan for 2021

The Governing Council authorised a total budget of €180,933, with €140,933 devoted to operating expenditures. This includes rental costs, functioning of the Consortium’s headquarters and other external services necessary for its operation. The amount includes €30,000 for wage costs of the staff that will be recruited in the present year.

An additional sum of €40,000 will be allocated to investments that will cover the first expenses to adapt the headquarters to the Consortium’s specific needs.

These funds are contributions from the Central Government and the Junta de Andalucía, from a total contribution of €1.5 million up to 2023, covered 50 % by each part, €500,000 annually.

The course of action foreseen for 2021 is organised in four main lines of action: operation of the Consortium and its minimum infrastructure, the promotion of Granada’s candidacy to host IFMIF-DONES, the coordination with other initiatives and organisms involved and a long-term planning of the infrastructure.

The first line of action will focus on the effective operation of the Consortium as soon as possible, including staff recruitment, establishing the headquarters and its adaptation from the IT point of view, software licensing, security, etc.

For the second line of action, different initiatives are planned to boost the candidacy, focused on promoting international negotiations to host the scientific infrastructure and on promoting the main features of IFMIF-DONES in different communities. For this purpose, the presence of the project will be promoted through website and social networks. There will be specific events organised targeted to the industry and academic sector and the participation in important conferences such as Conferencia Internacional de Materiales para Fusión and Foro de Grandes Instalaciones Científicas will be promoted.

Thirdly, there will be activities directed to ensure and strengthen the coordination between the Consortium and all national entities involved in significant initiatives related to IFMIF-DONES. Negotiations and signing of cooperation agreements are foreseen, as well as sharing of information.

Finally, for a long-term planification and to ensure an appropriate evaluation of the possible risks associated to its operation, a series of mechanisms will be adopted to analyse, perform critical reviews, and update the documents available of the allocation. Special focus will be placed on the cost planification and estimation, as well as aspects related to permits and licensing and the use of structural funds for financing.

The Governing Council also decided to temporarily establish the headquarters at the University of Granada’s Vice-Rectorate for Research and Knowledge Transfer.