Visit by Basque President marks success of international collaboration at ISIS

Wednesday 09 March 2011

Patxi Lopez, President of the Basque Country visited ISIS 8 March 2011

Patxi Lopez, President of the Basque Country speakig at ISIS Credit: Stephen Kill/STFC
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The scientific and technical collaboration between ISIS and the Basque Country has been celebrated by a visit from the President of the Basque country, Patxi Lopez, on Tuesday 8 March 2011.

International collaborations have enabled ISIS, one of the UK’s major scientific achievements, to continually push the boundaries of accelerator technology and neutron instrumentation to deliver innovative and high-impact science. Exchanging technological expertise has enabled Basque companies to manufacture high-tech equipment for ISIS and other similar projects.


“For more than twenty years, ISIS has been a world leader, a position we maintain because of the excellence of our staff and of our international partnerships," Said Dr Andrew Taylor, ISIS Director.

“To continue to develop ISIS we have to collaborate with the best, and the success of ISIS is a testimony to the value of international collaboration.

“ISIS has a long history of scientific and engineering collaboration with the Basque Country and Spain leading to inward investment at ISIS of around one million Euros per year.

“We enjoy welcoming scientists, engineers and designers from the Basque Country to ISIS. Together with the high-tech industry in the Basque region, we have built some truly outstanding scientific instruments at ISIS.”


Speaking during his visit, Patxi Lopez, President of the Basque Country said:

“I am very grateful to have this opportunity to visit one of Great Britain’s most important campuses. The Basque Country and Britain working together to create knowledge and development is the reason we are here today at one of the leading centres worldwide.

“A strong science and technology system, that is well funded and internationally recognised as first rate, is fundamental to achieve a prosperous and innovative society. It is now no longer enough to import outside knowledge and try to apply it innovatively. A sustainable and prosperous society must actively participate on the world stage of research infrastructures and projects responsible for generating knowledge at the highest level.

“We are designing and constructing a new centre, ESS-Bilbao, which is focusing on technologies related to particle acceleration and has the capacity to host a regional neutron source.

“The intense partnerships between Basque research groups, technological centres and companies and the ISIS Neutron Source are one of those fundamental alliances that we need to ensure the success of this new Centre."

Patxi Lopez, President of the Basque Country visited ISIS 8 March 2011

Patxi Lopez, President of the Basque Country and Dr Andrew Taylor, ISIS Director, with the steel vacuum tank manufactured in the Basque County for installation at the ISIS Neutron Source. The vacuum tank is part of an upgrade to the Polaris neutron instrument used for characterising the structure of materials. Credit: Stephen Kill/STFC
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Patxi Lopez, President of the Basque Country visited ISIS 8 March 2011

Patxi Lopez, President of the Basque Country, with neutron detectors developed in the Basque Country as part of the technology transfer programme with the ISIS Neutron Source. The detectors will be installed on the Pearl instrument which specialises in characterisation of materials under high pressures. Credit: Jon Bernandez/ Basque Government
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Notes to Editors

1.    Spanish and Basque experience with manufacturing steel has provided some of the largest vacuum tanks at ISIS forming the principle component of instruments for materials research (for neutron instruments Let, Wish, and Polaris). These are far from standard items – they must work under high vacuum and be precisely made to allow precision components from other manufacturers to be installed.

2.    Examples of technology transfer include companies in Spain who have learnt how to build high quality neutron scintillator detectors in just one year; or the FETS (Front end test stand) project which is developing an advanced approach to providing high current particle beams for the initial acceleration stage of future accelerators. 

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