F4E releases its fifth Annual Report reporting on the progress of Europe’s contribution to ITER. The report is published earlier than ever before and boasts a new compact layout offering a rich synthesis of the main achievements.Stuart Ward, Chair of the F4E Governing Board, states that “an important activity of F4E in 2011, in collaboration with the ITER International Organization and other Domestic Agencies, has been to advance the ITER design and construction, whilst containing costs and minimisingdelays, especially taking into account the impact of the Great East Japan earthquake”. The agreement on the EU budget for the ITER construction, reached in December 2011, was another important milestone for the execution of the project.In his foreword, Frank Briscoe, F4E Director, offers a comprehensive account of the main milestones. By all accounts, 2011 is considered a turning point for the ITER construction site. A joint team of F4E staff and around 200 contractors have been busy constructing the building for the Poloidal Field (PF) Coils Winding Facility as well as the excavation and foundation works for the Tokamak Complex Seismic Isolation Pit. For the Pit over 200,000 m3 of rock was excavated to a depth of 17 metres, the first lower basemat was laid and the retaining walls put in place. On top of the basemat, 300 out of the 393 concrete pinths were laid and 150 seismic bearings installed. The PF coils building, which is approximately 250 metres long, 45 metres wide and 17 metres high, was almost fully completed on budget and schedule. In 2011 several Agreements were signed between F4E and ITER IO as well as between F4E and Consorzio-RFX for the design and construction of the Neutral Beam Test Facility (NBTF) in Padua, Italy which is essential for the development of ITER’s plasma heating systems. F4E also continued to support work for the development of prototypes for the ITER gyrotrons which provide another way to heat the plasma.Two Procurement Arrangements (PAs) were signed with ITER IO in relation to the cryoplant and diagnostics meaning that around 80% (in value) of the PAs for all the components under Europe’s responsibility have now been concluded. The amount of credit awarded to F4E by the ITER IO in recognition of its contributions increased to approximately 35 kIUA (about 56 million EUR) which is threefold what was achieved the previous year; this was mainly due to the achievement of milestones related to the ITER magnets.To implement the commitments in the ITER PAs, F4E awarded over 38 operational contracts and 22 grants to industries, laboratories and other organisations for a total value of almost 180 million EUR bringing the value of running contracts that were under F4E’s responsibility by the end of the year to just under 1 billion EUR. At the same time nearly 70 new procurement or grant procedures were launched of which 70% were launched by the planned yearly quarter or the followingone. Furthermore, 17 administrative contracts with a value of just over 5 million EUR were placed.Moving to the Broader Approach, 2011 marked the transition from design to construction for the European participation in the Satellite Tokamak project under construction in Japan. Technical specifications and administrative provisions have been successfully completed with the signature of the majority of the PAs (75% in value). With respect to the IFMIF/EVEDA programme, progress was made in a number of areas although the Tohoku Earthquake has impacted upon the schedule.In 2011 F4E managed its largest budget to date of just under 500 million EUR in commitments and almost 300 million EUR in payments. The level of implementation of the payments budget increased to 85%, which represents an improvement on the previous three years. Finally, a new organisation structure was introduced in F4E from the beginning of 2011 that reinforced a culture of project management and consolidated the financial service. The new senior management team has been in place since August 2011 welcoming Drs Jean-Marc Filhol and Hans Jahreiss as the new Heads of the EU-ITER and Administration Departments respectively. You can either receive a copy of the 2011 F4E Annual Report upon request or download it from here.