ISIS collaboration with Japan emphasised at Joint Commission
29 Nov 2011



The hugely successful collaboration between ISIS and Japanese research institutes RIKEN and J-PARC has been highlighted during the UK-Japan Joint Commission on Science and Technology Cooperation held in London, Monday 28 November 2011.

​Osamu Shimomura of KEK presenting ISIS Director Andrew Taylor with a plaque to commemorate 25 years of collaboration between Japan and ISIS on neutron science

The event, chaired by the UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor Sir John Beddington, covers the entire spectrum of science and technology collaborations between the UK and Japan. Officials exchange information about best practice and set out future plans and priorities for both the UK and Japan, allowing the countries to identify opportunities for further collaboration.

The RIKEN-RAL partnership has existed for more than 20 years and led to the establishment of the RIKEN-RAL muon facility at ISIS. The research is looking at among other things, understanding high temperature superconductors with potential use in applications such as hospital MRI scanners.

The partnership between J-PARC and ISIS has seen both parties share expertise, knowledge and people, to substantially improve their neutron capabilities in a mutually beneficial way. ISIS modelled itself on pioneering work at the accelerator at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) and in turn, ISIS technology has contributed strongly to the development of J-PARC, a world-leading facility opened in 2008.

Dr Andrew Taylor, Director ISIS, said: "Japanese scientists have used ISIS to address some of the most challenging problems in material science to date. Japan now has a technically sophisticated user community fully able to exploit the technically sophisticated facility they have developed at J-PARC."

During the Joint Commission, representatives from both J-PARC, RIKEN and ISIS spoke of the benefits to all parties of the close working relationships of the scientists and engineers from these organisations.

Dr Masa Arai, Materials and Life Science Director of J-PARC, outlined the strong collaborative nature of the development of the neutron programme at ISIS and J-PARC. "Our work with ISIS has directly fed into the establishment of neutron instruments at J-PARC.  We look forward to many more years of collaboration between our two world-leading facilities," he said.

Dr Tei Matsuzaki from RIKEN said, "The collaboration between RIKEN and ISIS in muon science is well established and very fruitful.  It has led to significant advances in fundamental and applied science - including, for example, studies of materials used in batteries for electronic devices, and development of pressure and laser technologies for muon studies."

Dr Philip King, leader of the ISIS muon group who also spoke at the Joint Commission added: "The science and technology of muon and neutron studies have benefited hugely from Japanese and UK researchers working together.  Recent results - which give insights into the working of superconductors, or how electronic spins behave in materials with electronics applications, or help us understand novel magnetic materials more fully - are strong evidence for this."