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Accelerator and Magnet Infrastructure for Cooperation and Innovation

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - AMICI (Accelerator and Magnet Infrastructure for Cooperation and Innovation)

Reporting period: 2018-07-01 to 2019-10-31

Many scientific Research Infrastructures (RIs) based on particle accelerators or superconducting (SC) magnets have been built in the past decade, or are under construction in Europe, in various fields ranging from fundamental physics to applied sciences. Others are in preparation around the world. Their construction demands high technology systems built to unparalleled quality standards, and spans all the necessary activities of research, development, fabrication, assembly and verification. Such projects trigger innovation, and can only be possible through the realization of a large and distributed accelerator and SC magnet Technology Infrastructure (TI). The objective of AMICI is to engage the TI currently dedicated to European science-based accelerators and large SC magnets with a new, efficient and sustainable collaboration model. AMICI aims at transferring the knowledge and know-how of research laboratories to industry and creating new products and new applications of direct benefit to society. Industry would access a pool of technical platforms such as test benches, clean rooms and assembly halls including the equipment and associated human expertise, keeping European industry at the forefront of the international competition. This will be achieved by fostering collaboration initiatives and opportunities between Industry and the TI.
In WP1, representatives from Industry, both large enterprises and SMEs, were consulted on the best way to associate them to the project. The main achievement has been the organization of two AMICI-Industry forums aimed at discussing the AMICI project activities and the short and medium term strategy proposed by the AMICI collaboration.

WP2 aimed at providing a strategic view on the science and technology roadmaps for the future accelerator and SC magnet based RIs in Europe and worldwide. Key Technological Areas (KTAs) were defined, in which critical performance progresses, allowing meeting the future projects challenging needs, are expected. This permitted identifying the Technological Facilities (TFs) where cutting-edge technical developments are/could be pursued, aiming at performance breakthrough, cost saving or reliability improvement on a given KTA and defining the technological roadmap for the different KTAs, showing thereby the opportunities and needs that could orient and sustain the activity of the TI. The conditions for the long-term sustainability of the TI were analyzed.

WP3 investigated and defined the conditions of eligibility for an accelerator or SC magnet European TF to be eligible in the core group of the large European TI. Besides, a networking and collaboration model is proposed, which describes the rules of conduct within the AMICI Collaboration. The internal structure of the collaboration will enable effective coordination of TFs and can serve for RIs as the single point of contact to the entire TI within the collaboration. The proposed network will improve information sharing and will guarantee access for smaller universities and TFs to participate in large-scale endeavors. A draft of a Collaboration Agreement was proposed, which provides the legal, financial and organizational framework among the Core Group members. The aim of the collaboration is to guarantee the long-term life of the valuable Technical Platforms (TPs) within a network of TFs to form a European Technology Infrastructure for the benefit of RIs and science industry.

WP4 provided insight into the relationship between the National Laboratories and Industry, identifying complementarities with societal application areas, and outlining practical actions which could be used to help drive increased innovation, forge stronger links with Industry and increase exploitation of the TI. Industry working in the fields of accelerators and SC magnets was surveyed by means of interviews and web-based tools. WP4 identified existing good practices, barriers and ways of promoting the effective engagement of the TI in supporting the European Industries for developing commercial products and services that may benefit the society at large. Implementation of the identified priority actions will assist in streamlining access processes, standardizing procedures, and maximizing exploitation to realize the full innovation potential of European Industry, with the potential to drive a transition from a primarily RI-driven model to a broader ecosystem supporting enhanced partnership with Industry.

WP5 proposed actions that would benefit the industrialization of components for future Accelerator and SC Magnet based RIs. Three main lines were identified: sensitizing and training Industry in the needs, know-hows, techniques, methods and quality standards required for developing cutting-edge technologies, harmonization and co-developments of prototypes. Needs for training programs in TI were identified, focusing on bringing the supply chain to the challenging performance requirements and enforcing System-Engineering and Quality-Assurance methodologies at the interface between Industry and TI. Besides, secondments of TI personnel in industry appeared as a powerful tool for facilitating knowledge transfer and enabling the TI personnel to gain direct knowledge of current industry practices. As regards harmonization, a prototype of a common reference database dedicated to materials and components for accelerators and SC magnets has been proposed, which, once fully implemented, will allow an efficient transfer of knowledge and know-how between Academic Institutes, TFs and Industry. In addition, AMICI supported the foundation of a new working group, at the European Committee for Standardization CEN, which aims at developing a European Standard for the protection of helium cryostats against excessive pressure. Finally, WP5 defined the basic requirements and conditions that can make it attractive, feasible and effective to engage industry in developing prototypes of accelerator components or large SC magnets, while respecting a subsidiarity principle favoring the development in Industry when possible.
AMICI proposes a model of a coordinated ecosystem of TFs, associating all the key players from universities to industry and SMEs, with actions allowing them to:
− have clear information about the strategic science and technology roadmaps for the future construction of RIs worldwide and therefore be in a strong position to compete on the global market,
− have a simplified and supported access to the most adequate technical platforms,
− benefit from the integrated ecosystem that will foster innovation based on cutting-edge tools and developments, enhancing their visibility and competitiveness in new markets,
− overcome their technology development barriers and further develop commercial opportunities within the RIs and wider societal markets,
− profit from the information exchange, definition of harmonized and standardized procedures and access to databases, which should lead to cost reduction in the long term.
The overall impact, i.e. ensuring that Europe in the future will continue to develop cutting-edge technologies for accelerators and SC magnets and its industry to build highly competitive RIs in Europe and in the rest of the world and develop innovative products for societal applications, can be reached only if the coordinated European Technology Infrastructure is created and the proposed actions funded.