New ISIS Collaborative R&D programme offers fast and easy access for UK industry
24 Oct 2011



A new fast-track programme to widen the use of neutron and muon beams for industry research is now available at Oxfordshire’s ISIS Neutron and Muon Source at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

​Setting up stress rig and furnace on the Engin-X instrument

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.

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

“This is a new way for industry to work in partnership with ISIS and deliver impact for the UK,” said ISIS Director, Dr Andrew Taylor. “The ISIS Collaborative R&D 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.

“This is a new way for industry to work in partnership with ISIS and deliver impact for the UK” - Dr Andrew Taylor

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.

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

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

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

Key features of the ISIS Collaborative R&D programme

  • Beam time free at point of use
  • Beam time may be obtained quickly
  • Criteria for doing the experiment will be its potential economic benefit to the UK
  • 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