As two of Europe’s largest and most established neutron sources, ISIS and ILL have accumulated a wealth of expertise in the development and operation of neutron user facilities. Early on, the facilities recognised the mutual benefit in sharing knowledge and resources to advance their capabilities and grow the European neutron community.
For more than four decades, ISIS and ILL have undertaken a broad technical, scientific and outreach programme that has supported the development of both facilities. This enduring collaboration has helped to establish a strong shared user community, nurtured through joint training courses and events, as well as the annual ISIS-ILL user meeting, which has been running for more than 20 years. The impact of close scientific cooperation between the two facilities is demonstrated by more than 1000 joint publications to date covering a wide range of scientific disciplines.
Signing on behalf of ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, facility Director, Prof Roger Eccleston, remarked that “the new MoU between ISIS and ILL will allow us to the longstanding and productive cooperation between the facilities, their staff and users. Our partnership with the ILL drives technical innovation and best practices that helps both facilities to continue to deliver world-leading capabilities to our user community so they can address important research challenges.”
Prof Paul Langan, Director of the ILL added: “Today we renewed our commitment to well-established technical collaboration and scientific cooperation, that over the years has helped to provide researchers with a world-leading neutron scattering infrastructure in Europe. This asset is needed to enable a deeper fundamental understanding of materials properties, the cornerstone of future technologies and applications that will stimulate economic growth and improve the well-being of society."
Europe’s world-leading position in neutron science relies on an ecosystem of complementary facilities, each having a unique value and role. Collaborations, such as that between ISIS and ILL, are crucial to this ecosystem and have always been very strong.
The recent agreement renews ISIS and ILL’s formal commitment to the cooperative development of neutron infrastructure, first established with an MoU in 2008. The new MoU emphasises the facilities’ commitment to Cooperative Research Programs in areas of common interest, and signals their intent to work together to strengthen the European neutron community in the years ahead.
The ILL is funded and managed by France, Germany and the United Kingdom, in partnership with 11 other European countries. The UK contribution is managed by UK Research and Innovation, the same body that funds ISIS.