Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania will host a 500-million-euro ($728.5 million) pioneering laser facility with a wide range of advanced scientific applications, Hungary's Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai told a news conference on Thursday. European Union authorities have awarded the project, called the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI), jointly to the three former communist bloc members. Scientists at the center will conduct research in nuclear physics, astrophysics, cosmology, high-energy physics, as well as areas like cancer research. Construction and the bulk of the financial investment are slated to start in 2011. Once completed in 2015, the facility will employ 300 researchers and another 600 support staff.
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