In the late 1990s, it became clear that there was an urgent need for a fresh and vigorous initiative to keep the ILL at the leading edge of neutron science, and so an ambitious roadmap for renewal was drawn up. In 2000, the ILL launched the Millennium Programme designed to establish a sustainable strategy for the continual improvement of its infrastructure and instruments.
Founded on new scientific opportunities, as well as exciting developments in instrument design – detectors, monochromators – spin polarisers and higher-performance neutron guides, this strategy attracted substantial funding from the ILL’s Associate Members.
Together with the skill and diligence of ILL staff, we have been able to deliver six new instruments, and extensively upgrade a further eight in the first phase of our Millennium Programme. The replacement of the neutron guides alone has led to a doubling of neutron intensity for many instruments. It has contributed to improving the average detection rate of neutrons for all instruments by 24 times! (see graph).
The second phase of the Millennium Programme is currently underway, with funding in place to deliver a further 11 new or upgraded instruments (including both those available to all researchers from member countries and those implemented by CRGs).
First phase (2001-2008) 'M0'
14 new or upgraded instruments, 42 M€ invested.
The first phase is completed. It has already provided significant advances: it has boosted the efficiency of the ILL’s instrument suite by a factor of 19. Not only can many experiments be performed more quickly, but we have also opened up new areas of science to European research with neutrons, such as the up-and-coming field of nanotechnology.
Second phase (2009-2016) 'M1'
4 new instruments + 3 instruments CRG
4 instrument upgrades
43 M€ invested
First phase financed in part by the European Commission (ESFRI)
A number of preparatory studies are being financed by the European Commission. The ILL’s Millennium Programme features on the ESFRI Roadmap (European Strategic Forum for Research Infrastructure).
- Millennium Symposium 2006
- Millennium Symposium 2001