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Posted: February 16, 2010
European industry and science join forces to build the European Spallation Source
(Nanowerk News) Senior representatives from the Danish and Swedish Governments are to speak this Friday at a major industrial conference organised by the European Spallation Source project.
Uffe Toudal Pedersen, Permanent Secretary of the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and Peter Honeth, State Secretary to Tobias Krantz in the Swedish Government’s Ministry of Higher Education and Research, will be joining senior industrialists and scientists later this week to cement the foundations of some of the most powerful relationships between industry and science that Europe has seen in recent years.
The European Spallation Source (ESS) is a €1.5 billion project to design and construct a next generation facility for research with neutrons. Neutrons can penetrate deep into matter, enabling researchers to see in great detail how materials are constructed and how they behave on an atomic level.
Europe has long been an acknowledged world leader in the field of neutron research and the ESS facility, once completed, will enable Europe to maintain that position in the face of mounting competition from the US and Japan. It will also offer a wealth of opportunities for science and industry to collaborate.
As the project gets closer to its seven year construction phase, it is vital that the right industrial partners are found to assist with the design, building and operation of the facility, which is to be built in Lund, Sweden.
At the same time, the project co-ordinators are keen to start discussions with potential industrial partners interested in finding out more about spallation technology and how the ESS might assist them in advancing their own research and development projects.
The one-day meeting, financially supported by the EU FP7-funded ESS Preparatory Phase Project is being held on Friday 19 February 2010, at the Royal Library, in Copenhagen. The event will include invited talks, working groups and open discussions on how industry can become involved in the ESS project.
Alongside Mr Pedersen and Mr Honeth will be Tomas Lundqvist, a senior scientist with the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and leading neutron scientists including Professor Phil Withers, of the University of Manchester, in the UK.
ESS will need expertise in the fields of civil engineering, accelerator technology, advanced handling and high precision large-scale mechanical engineering, as well as other services and infrastructures.
Professor Bob Cywinski, spokesperson for the ESS Preparatory Phase Project, says: "We are delighted to have representatives from the Danish and Swedish government lending their support to the ESS Industry Day. Over €1 billion of contracts may soon be available for Europe-wide competitive tender. That represents a huge range of technical and commercial opportunities and we want to ensure that we are talking to the right companies to supply the expertise that we need."
In addition to participating in the construction of ESS, European industry will also be able to exploit the completed European Spallation Source. Indeed ESS will provide a major scientific resource for industrial partners looking to investigate, develop or refine technologically important materials and their processing. This resource will be extremely valuable across all disciplines, including engineering, chemistry, pharmacology, energy and environment.
"With such a broad spectrum of opportunities available," says Prof. Cywinski, "it is very important that we demonstrate the enormous potential of ESS to our industrial partners now, so that as the ESS becomes operational we are able to rapidly exploit this facility for the benefit of advanced European scientific and technological industries, and of course for the European economy ."