The University of Groningen is investigating the future of Kernfysisch Versneller Instituut (KVI) activities. The current particle accelerator (AGOR) will be decommissioned sometime in 2014, and a request for funding to have AGOR replaced by a new instrument (ZFEL) has not been honoured by NWO, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.
A preliminary expert was appointed by the Board of the University to investigate scenarios for the future, a number of which have been outlined. It became clear that the KVI in its present form and given its current perspectives is not viable. After careful deliberation and consultation with parties including the Faculty of Science and Engineering (formerly known as the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences), based on the preliminary expert report the Board of the University has decided that the facility internationally renowned for its innovative high-tech instruments must be retained in some shape or form under the auspices of FSE.
The Board of the University has created a Commission of three experts to develop the business case for this scenario and to make related proposals. Research lines with close ties to research conducted at FSE or at the UMCG related to proton therapy being taken over is another obvious choice.
These drastic developments will have major repercussions for all those involved. The Board of the University will execute the transition from the current situation to the new one with the utmost care.
In order to clearly mark the transition and to give it every chance of succeeding, the current KVI director, Prof. Klaus Jungmann, has decided to resign his post as of 1 December 2012. This should create clarity about KVI being in a transitional status, both within and outside the University.
The Board of the University would like to thank Prof. Jungmann for his tremendous commitment as director of KVI and acknowledges his decision with all due respect.
The Board of the University has requested the director of the Center for Information Technology of the University of Groningen, Prof. Cees Sterks, to accept the position of interim director of KVI as of 1 December 2012. For the present, Prof. Sterks will combine the two positions.
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