ISIS Collaborative R&D Programme

Preparing samples for an ISIS experiment

Preparing samples for an ISIS experiment
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The ISIS Collaborative R&D programme is a fast-track route for industries with a UK manufacturing or research base to use ISIS neutron and muon beams.

Our instruments are regularly used by a wide range of industries from pharmaceutical and chemical companies to high-end mechanical engineering in the nuclear and aerospace sectors. They provide unique and essential information at the atomic and molecular level.

The aim of the ISIS Collaborative R&D programme is to widen the use of ISIS by industry in order to increase the economic benefit that ISIS contributes to the United Kingdom. 

This is a new way for industry to work in partnership with ISIS. The programme makes it much easier for industry to use ISIS, and the fast-track access will give the right conditions for working to solve industrial research problems.

Under the new programme, an industry-ISIS collaboration will be formed to undertake a specific programme of industrially related research.  Within this collaboration, ISIS beam time will be provided as an in-kind contribution to the partnership agreement. For the industrial partner, an important requirement will be to estimate the potential economic benefits to the United Kingdom and themselves of the research programme using ISIS.

When a company joins the ISIS Collaborative R&D programme (ICR&D programme), requests for beam time can be made at any time, and a decision on access to the facility will be made within two weeks.

Industry and ISIS will form a partnership to undertake a specific programme of industrially related research and ISIS beam time will be provided as an in-kind contribution to the partnership agreement.

Requests for beam time can be made at any time, and will be considered outside the normal ISIS academic peer-review process.  It is recognised that some industrial problems require very fast responses, and the ISIS Collaborative R&D programme will give access to neutron and muon beams within two weeks of submitting an application.

Key aspects of the programme

  • Beam time is free at point of use
  • Beam time may be obtained very quickly
  • Criteria for doing the experiment will be its potential economic benefit to the UK
  • The results remain confidential during the period of the experiment and the subsequent data analysis.
  • For each experimental proposal, a company must demonstrate it has deployed in-kind matching funding to the cost of the ISIS beam time supplied

Economic benefits

An important requirement of the ICR&D scheme will be for the industrial partner to estimate the potential economic benefits to themselves and the UK, and to provide reports regarding progress towards these targets.  

The applicants will also provide a short account of the project which may be used by ISIS and STFC when reporting the impacts of their work to the UK government and the wider public. (This account need not contain any proprietary information.)

Applying to the ISIS Collaborative R&D programme

We welcome applications to join the ISIS Collaborative R&D programme from:

  • a single company, or group of companies
  • a company, or companies, with an academic partner or partners

Participants in the programme will sign a Collaborative Research Agreement (CRA) with the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) which will cover details of the in-kind contributions provided by each side of the partnership.

To join the ISIS Collaborative R&D programme, please contact the ISIS Industry Liaison Manager.

Application assessment

ICR&D applications will be judged by a small panel with appropriate expertise under strict confidentiality rules, and will be considered outside the normal academic peer-review process. 

Applications will be successful if the proposal is technically sound, the company has a UK manufacturing or research base, and the partnership has the potential to deliver benefit to the UK economy.

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