Science at Synchrotron Radiation and Free Electron Laser (FEL) facilities play an essential role in the discovery and characterisation of advanced materials, biomaterials and living matter and Europe has achieved global leadership in this field. These facilities serve a very broad scientific community of more than 30,000 researchers in Europe and attract some of the brightest minds worldwide. They span many countries, facilitating multinational collaborations, and support a spectrum of disciplines that encompass fundamental and applied sciences, and innovative industrial applications. They provide answers to key societal challenges in areas such as health, the environment, energy and communication, educate the next generation of scientists, engineers and facility managers and administrators, and contribute strongly to the competitiveness of European industry and thus create jobs and wealth.

The Directors of the European synchrotron and FEL facilities have decided to establish a strategic Consortium – the League of European Accelerator based-Photon Sources (LEAPS) – whose primary goal is to actively and constructively promote and ensure the quality and impact of fundamental, applied and industrial research carried out at their facilities.