ISIS Neutron and Muon Source - Science with Impact.
16 Sep 2022
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ISIS Neutron and Muon Source enables high impact research and innovation. We work with both academia and industry to deliver scientific, socio-economic and environmental impact, addressing global challenges and answering fundamental questions.

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​From the start of operations in 1984, ISIS has been one of the most advanced spallation neutron sour​ces in the world, and has demonstrated to the global scientific community the feasibility and benefits of using a spallation source for the production of neutrons and muons for science. 

In a typical year we carry out around 1200 experiments by 3000 users from 30 countries, generating 600 papers.across a wide range of scientific disciplines

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Meeting Government Priorities

​​​ISIS science ​supports many key themes of UK Government policy. Read more about how rthe research we do maps to government strategies that aim to tackle major global challenges.

ISIS and the UK Hydrogen Economy - with the UK government setting out its first ever hydrogen strategy, the neutron and muon user community is continuing to develop the technology needed to make the plans a reality.​

​​Carbon Net Zero Research at ISIS Neutron and Muon Source - research at ISIS supports the UK government's ambitious plan to reach a carbon-neutral economy by 2050, tackling climate change through reducing emissions, using cleaner sources of energy and greener transport solutions.​

Life Sciences Vision - the UK government has published its Life Science Vision, setting out its ambitions for the sector over the next decade, and ISIS science supports many different areas of research relevant to this vision.

ISIS and the 10 point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution​ - w​​e undertake many activities which support the themes of the UK government’s recently announced environmental action plan.​

Industrial Impact

We undertake many activities which support the delivery of the UK Government's Industrial Strategy to boost productivity, creating​​ good jobs and increase the earning power of people throughout the UK with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure.​ ISIS Neutron and Muon source supports these priorities through its support of world-class science in universities and industry, both in the UK and internationally. We have both commercial users under non-disclosure agreements and academic - industrial collaborations covering a wide range of applications, in bioscience and healthcare, advanced manufacturing, food security, clean energy, transport​​, personal care products and resilient electronics. ​​​​​​Read more here​​.

"ISIS will deliver at least £1.4 billion in net economic impact, based on what has already been achieved up to 2014. This total comprises £1.0 billion of past economic impacts estimated from the research, innovation and skills that have been generated by the facility and the direct impact to the local economy that comes from employment and supply chain effects. It also includes £0.4 billion of future economic impact up to 2025, generated from research and innovation already completed. ISIS has delivered a healthy Return on Investment (RoI) of at least 214%, and will generate a further £1.4 billion of economic impact, based on predicted future achievements up to 2030."
ISIS Lifetime Impact Study​, Technopolis, 2016​​

A Lifetime of Impact

In 2017 the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source Lifetime Impact Report  was published, summarising the first 30 years of operation across a wide range of implact, by the economic constancy Technopolis. The ​full r​eport​ is available here.

As described by Technopolis in their report;

“ISIS has created substantial long-term impact. From the original vision over 30 years ago, ISIS has become one of the UK’s major scientific achievements. As the world’s leading pulsed neutron and muon source, ISIS has delivered major social and economic benefit for the UK and other economies.

  • Investing in science, research and innovation: ISIS research is undertaken in a wide variety of subjects including Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science, Geology, Engineering and Biology. ISIS supports the development of technologies based on new materials, advanced manufacturing and bioengineering, as well as helping to address the big challenges we face such as energy generation, antibiotic resistance and global warming.
     
  • Delivering affordable energy and clean growth: ISIS was used by EDF Energy to predict the lifetime of welds and the knowledge gained enabled the life extensions of 15 nuclear reactors, saving the company £3 billion in decommissioning costs. Benefits included providing low carbon energy to two million homes, £650 million a year in contracts for mostly UK-based businesses to carry out the repair work, and the safeguarding of 2,000 jobs in the nuclear power industry.
     
  • Encouraging trade and inward investment: Between 1987 and 2009, ISIS received £56 million in international contributions, some 14% of total income, underlining the attraction of the facility and the UK for international researchers.  With its tradition of innovation and leadership in technical developments, ISIS has played a critical role in demonstrating the feasibility and benefits of spallation sources. 
     
  • Cultivating world-leading sectors: ISIS has long-established industrial links with more than 100 companies including household names such as Rolls-Royce, Unilever, Airbus and BP. Over the past 30 years, UK and global industries have benefited directly with their research at ISIS supporting advances in a wide range of products. Industrial products whose development has been supported include catalysts, aeroplane components, shampoos and lubricants.
     
  • Developing skills: ISIS nurtures scientific talent in the UK, the value of which is estimated to be £30 million to the UK economy.  ISIS provides ‘on-the-job’ training to 500-800 early career researchers each year, who go on to work in academia and industry.  ISIS staff and users also often work closely with industry during their career and industry also benefits directly from knowledge exchange and collaboration activities.​

​Publications​​ and Resources

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Browse our annual reviews

Read our science highlights

Lifetime Impact Study​​​
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Neutron impact brochure
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Muon impact brochure 

Industrial case studies
Jacob Simms and Katie Mordecai putting the lid back on and tightening the bolts.
Technical highlights​
Design of new instrumentFuture impact - our major projects


For more information or any questions you may have on impact, please contact Sara Fletcher, ISIS Head of Impact and Engagement.​

Contact: Fletcher, Sara (STFC,RAL,ISIS)