In January 1967, a bilateral agreement between France and Germany enabled the creation of a major European neutron source. The Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) was the first international institute to set up shop in the city of Grenoble. The physicists Louis Néel (France) and Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (Germany) aimed to develop a European high-powered neutron source. The result was the ILL, which was named in honor of two great physicists: Max von Laue (Germany) and Paul Langevin (France).
In 1973, the U.K. joined the ILL as its third major partner. Together, the three countries provide 75% of the institute's funding (€98 million in 2016). The remaining 25% is funded by scientific partnerships with ten European countries. For the past 50 years, including 45 years of active scientific work, the ILL has maintained its position as a global leader and strong supporter of the Grenoble-Isère science ecosystem.