Preparing the future in neutron science and technology

Eight new project proposals with ILL’s involvement have been submitted to the European Commission last week. ILL is leading two of these proposals, one for intense magnetic fields and another on artificial intelligence.

The eight project proposals were submitted under the INFRATECH (two proposals) and INFRADEV (six proposals) calls. INFRATECH is dedicated to the development of the next generation of scientific instrumentation, tools and methods and advanced digital solutions. INFRADEV aims at developing, consolidating and optimising the European research infrastructures landscape, maintaining global leadership. Generally speaking, ILL is a 10-20% stakeholder in these projects with a total budget requested of about 9 M€. A success rate of about 30% is expected. We will know in July if these projects are funded.

Neutron science techniques play a key role in a range of scientific and technological domains, including some of the main societal challenges we are facing, from environment and energy to health and information technologies. These projects aim at contributing to advance neutron science and technology and to secure and enhance Europe’s leadership role in the field.

ILL took the leadership of two of the INFRATECH projects for science and innovation at European neutron and photon sources: one on magnetic field infrastructures (under the coordination of Eddy Lelièvre-Berna) and the other on artificial intelligence (under the coordination of Mark Johnson/Paolo Mutti). This entailed putting together a consortium (including industry) and ensuring that the partners work together to develop the project and produce the proposal.

Also in the INFRATECH call, ILL has an important participation in a proposal dedicated to neutron detector development for imaging and diffraction led by the Munich University (Germany), and in another one dealing with the advanced characterization of components relevant in new energy conversion and storage technologies, under the leadership of Teknologisk Institut (Denmark).

The two INFRADEV proposals in which ILL participates are dedicated to neutron optics developments and to advancements in material analysis in photon and neutron beamlines. These proposals are led by ESS and AC2T research (Austria), respectively. Finally, ILL has a participation in INFRATECH projects for the development of an infrastructure for colder neutrons without carbon emissions at the ESS (coordinated by ESS) and for radiation imaging and tracking (coordinated by the University of Jyväskylä, Finland).