2013 is almost over. It has been an exciting year that in many respects exceeded our expectations. Physics analysis revealed a wealth of unexpected results that enrich our understanding and at the same time pose new questions. I think that this makes science fascinating; not only the search for new answers but also the fact that it opens new questions that in many cases we hadn't even imagined.
2013 started with a very successful proton-lead run during which the ALICE detection system had an astonishing performance. During the year we carried a large fraction of the work foreseen for the LS1 and a number of new projects have been added to our original plans. We have decided to double the read-out speed of the TPC and review the connections of our trigger detectors in order to improve our efficiency, and ALICE will also have a new Run Control Centre. It has been a very busy time for those working at P2 to ensure that ALICE will be ready for the second phase of the LHC running.
In 2014, we will have to dig into the data for further clues about the nature of the Quark Gluon Plasma and the possible collective behaviour that emerges in small systems.
Finally, the first of our TDRs for the upgrade of the Inner Tracking System got the green light from the LHCC and the other TDRs are now being prepared for different parts of our detector. The upgrade programme is turning into reality thanks to your hard work and attracts new members and research institutes from around the world. To cope with the increased number of the new tasks we need to become even more efficient and organised.
Thank you all for your hard and passionate work during 2013! We are looking forward to an even more exciting 2014 for our Collaboration.
I would like to wish you a good well deserved rest during this end of the year holiday, and a very happy and successful year 2014.