International cooperation

As Europe’s most important centre for neutron science, the ILL is the first point of call for organisations outside Europe seeking to liaise on neutron scattering. Since its creation in 1967 the ILL has developed relationships of one  kind or another with all the major neutron scattering facilities in the world. Its international achievements include the creation of the International Society for Sample Environment ( and the International working group on He3 for detectors ( It has coordinated scientific programmes and helped build capacity overseas. 

European Spallation Source, Lund, Sweden

The MoU provides the framework required for enhanced cooperation between ILL and ESS, particularly in the fields of neutron-scattering instrumentation and beam components.

Japanese Proton Accelerator Research Complex, Japan

Collaboration in the development of new neutron detectors in the search for alternatives to helium-3 detectors for neutron scattering applications, in response to the worsening shortage of helium-3. As a member of ISSE the ILL promotes the scientific and technical development of sample environments at scattering facilities.

NIST Centre for Neutron Research, USA

The ILL collaborates on the development of new neutron detectors as a member of the International Society for Sample Environment (ISSE).

OPAL research reactor, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

We have worked with ANSTO on the development of a helium-3 filling station and new neutron detectors, as a  member of the International Society for Sample Environment (ISSE).

Neutron Science Directorate, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), USA

Collaborative efforts to develop higher density low enriched uranium fuels that could substitute for highly enriched uranium fuels in existing research reactors. Also collaboration in the development of new neutron detectors.

Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute (PNPI) of the National Research Centre "Kurchatov Institute", Russia

ILL has signed an MoU with PNPI to promote cooperative research and development of the ILL high flux reactor as well as to fully exploit the possibilities offered by the new high flux research reactor PIK to be commissioned at PNPI.

Centro Atomico Bariloche, Argentina

Continuous collaboration and capacity building in Argentina. Argentinians have worked at the ILL for longer periods (up to one year). ILL staff support neutron schools organised in Bariloche.

Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, India

The ILL and India have cooperated on technology transfer in the field of supermirror manufacturing. India was an ILL member country for 4 years. We have helped train Indian engineers.

Science & Technology Department, Republic of South Africa

Discussions have been held with South Africa on potential collaboration through the joint funding of projects on HIV and malaria research.