To date, the attractiveness of joint research activities conducted at synchrotron and free electron laser (FEL) facilities has led to the emergence of a Swiss user community, which now includes more than five hundred scientists.
The Swiss Light Source, SLS (https://www.psi.ch/sls) at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI, Villigen, Switzerland) is one of the PSI large scale facilities, which attracts every year thousands of users from all over Europe, including Switzerland and overseas. In addition, the Swiss Spallation Neutron Source, SINQ (https://www.psi.ch/sinq) and the Swiss Muon Source, SmS, (https://www.psi.ch/smus) which form part of PSI large research facilities, are also open to the international user community. In the near future, new experimental opportunities will be opened by PSI at the upcoming X-ray FEL facility, SwissFEL (https://www.psi.ch/swissfel/).
Nowadays, not only researchers from PSI, but also scientists from universities, schools, other research institutes and industry all over the world take advantage of the research capabilities provided by the SLS. The Swiss users also take advantage of complementary beam lines located at other European synchrotron and FEL facilities (e.g. ESRF, PETRA III, ANKA, BESSY, FLASH, MAX-Lab, ISA) in order to conduct their research. The Swiss user community thus fully benefits from and contributes to European research. A significant fraction of the Swiss synchrotron user community includes users from industry (~10 %). Today, both Swiss national funds and European funding obtained via EC I3 projects such as CALIPSO, BioStruct-X (for Swiss users going abroad) represent the main financial support to enable Swiss users to perform their experiments.