by Panos Charitos. Published: 07 December 2012

Following the recent endorsement of the ITS upgrade plans from the LHC Committee, as part of the broader ALICE Upgrade plans we thought to have a special issue of ALICE MATTERS that will focus on the “ITS Upgrade” , discussing the physics motivation for this upgrade as well as the R&D efforts and the challenges of the upgrade project.

We asked the four Working Groups (WG) of the ITS Upgrade for their contributions as we wanted to understand in depth the mandate of each group but also how they fit together in realizing the ITS upgrade plans.

Moreover, we interviewed PhD students and fellows, who are presently based at CERN, in order to explore their motivation to work on the ITS bus also the various research opportunities present in this project. Of course we have to acknowledge the efforts of many young researchers, coming from different parts of the world and closely working in various topics related to the ITS Upgrade. Unfortunately it would be hardly possible to interview all of them given the limited amount of time and space of a newsletter. Needless to say that we truly value their efforts and we hope that we host their stories in one of the future issues of ALICE MATTERS.

On behalf of the editorial board I would like to thank the convenors of the four working groups who kindly contributed in this issue as well as the students and fellows who accepted my invitation for an interview.

Special thanks go to Vito Manzari for his continuous support and Luciano Musa - the Project Leader of the ITS Upgrade- who kindly agreed to work with me in organizing this issue. Their help has been invaluable. Last but not least I am personally grateful to Stefan Rossegger since part of the inspiration for this issue came from our long discussions on the ITS Upgrade.

I hope that you will enjoy reading it and learn more about the ITS Upgrade Project and its importance for the ALICE Experiment.