We investigate acceleration of ion bunches during relativistically intense laser pulse interactions with plasmas. Relying on coherent acceleration, such laser-driven ion sources feature ion bunch characteristics that can be complementary to those typical of conventional (Wideroe-type) accelerators. Particularly novel intrinsic features include (ultra)short bunch duration, high bunch density, low emittance and synchronism with other parallel laser-driven particle and photon sources. The main acceleration concepts based on recent studies with various target (plasma) types; including ultrathin foils  and levitated micro targets  will be reviewed. We now aim to realize viable sources for applications in fields of radiation physics, chemistry, biology and medicine in the context of the Centre for Advanced Laser Applications (CALA). CALA will feature the Advanced Titanium-Sapphire Laser ATLAS3000, a chirped pulse amplification system that delivers driving laser pulses of 20fs duration and peak power up to 3 petawatts. Advancing from investigative parameter studies towards an integrated laser-driven ion accelerator system (ILDIAS) represents a remarkable technological challenge. Experiences and advances in target technology (i.e. targetry), ion beam guidance and instrumentation will be reported. Among the numerous potential applications of laser-driven particle acceleration , ion-bunch induced ultrasound waves in water is highlighted as a fascinating example at the interface of tailored detection methodology and physics at high local and instantaneous energy density.
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