CORDIS - EU research results
CORDIS

Convenient Access to Light Sources Open to Innovation, Science and to the World

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - CALIPSOplus (Convenient Access to Light Sources Open to Innovation, Science and to the World)

Reporting period: 2020-05-01 to 2021-10-31

Synchrotrons and Free-electron lasers (FELs) are large research infrastructures (RIs) operated by national stakeholders or international consortia. For many areas of cutting-edge research and technology, access to these facilities is vital. A Strength of Europe is the unique density of these research infrastructures creating an excellent environment for disruptive research and ground-breaking technological developments. Only recently, the importance of research infrastructures (RIs) for the European Research Area has been acknowledged in the conclusions on the future governance of the ERA. Access provision to these facilities to enable new discoveries and knowledge breakthroughs by researcher from anywhere in Europe and beyond, and provision of innovative, customised and efficient RI services for industry have been recognised as crucial elements for the realisation of the ERA and constitute the vision of the CALIPSOplus consortium. Against this backdrop the objectives of CALIPSOplus were
• To provide access free-of-charge to the state-of-the-art accelerator-based light sources in Europe,
• to pro-actively reach out to users from the newer EU member states and to tap into new research fields
• to strongly advertise the potential of RIs towards SMEs and industry and to develop access modes suiting their needs
• to develop solutions to cope with the increasing amounts of newly generated data
• To maintain the facilities at the technological cutting-edge by innovative co-developments with industry
Having tackled and met these challenges, the consortium drew the following most important conclusions
• There is a strong need for a sustainable financing concept for trans-national access to the state-of-the-art European RIs.
• The only way to realise a full inclusion of scientists from newer EU member states into the ERA is by direct contacts and by training formats such as the twinning program.
• TamaTA, the tailor-made to SMEs trans-national access scheme, was a success and met a real need, but more needs to be done to reinforce and expand the interaction of industry with RIs.
• Co-development of crucial technology with partners from industry has a huge potential for boosting European competitiveness in research and in economy.
CALIPSOplus brought together all major synchrotrons and FELs in Europe and in the Middle East to provide easy access, free-of-charge, to the facilities operated by them. During the running time of the project, around 1.5 million hours of access were provided.
A strong inclusion program including visits at universities in newer EU member states and a twinning program offering to acquire hands-on experience by joining an experienced user group was able removed barriers preventing the exploitation of the unique European RI landscape. Several successful beamtime applications by earlier twinning guests evidenced the success of this program.
A particular focus was on industry and SMEs. Activities covered the whole range from reaching out to companies from the local ecosystem around the facilities to prominently advertising the unique service and support program for industry users offered by the accelerator-based light sources at important fairs. A trans-national access program tailor-made to SMEs, TamaTA, was pioneered in CALIPSOplus and turned into a big success, attracting 33 SMEs.
An “Inno Mall”, an electronic platform, was set-up to foster exchange between industry and light sources. Prospectively, this platform will constitute the core of one of the three pillars of Digital LEAPS, the prominent program for digital transformation set up by LEAPS (https://leaps-initiative.eu/).
Considering the large data volumes generated in experiments at the light sources, a demonstrator for a remote data analysis tool, avoiding the need to transfer data between sites, was developed and successfully deployed, precisely when the pandemic started. A universal registration system is realised by the umbrellaID that even attracted attention by the European Open Science Cloud.
A successfully accomplished round-robin metrology exercise involving the ultra-precise mirrors in use at the latest X-ray FELs resulted in the design of two calibration mirrors serving as reference for future calibrations. This is of particular importance for European manufacturers to of which were directly involved in the exercise.
Covering the costs related to an experimental campaign is an unsurmountable obstacle for many research teams from countries with relatively low expenditures in research, depriving them from access the European world-call research infrastructures. The trans-national access program of CALIPSOplus was able to mitigate this situation. Statistical analysis of related numbers evidenced a strong need for this financial support and provided a sound bases for investigations on solutions to sustain such support. Under CALIPSOplus, the European Synchrotron and FEL User Organisation ESUO underwent a substantial metamorphosis from which it emerged as an association according to Belgium law (AISBL), with clear visions and missions, and pushing forward the discussion on sustainable tarns-national access
A major success story of CALIPSOplus is TamaTA that has already been deployed on several other European project proposals, thereof one that is already running (LEAPS-INNOV, GA 101004728).
CALIPSOplus that continued the row of several earlier EU projects of the community ultimately resulted in the launch of the League of European Accelerator-based Photon Sources (LEAPS) in Europe. The majority of the activities initiated in CALIPSOplus serve as prototype for activities pursued in the various LEAPS working groups. The European perspective on RIs, the potential that they bear for Europe, but also the challenges they are facing resulted in the awareness of the need for more wider collaboration with all analytical RIs and the foundation of ARIE (https://arie-eu.org/) the network of the analytical research infrastructures in Europe.
Map of Europe indicating the facilities participating in CALIPSOplus