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Sustainable research at micro and nano X-ray beamlines

Project description

Accelerating synchrotron research will lead to high-impact results

Synchrotrons are huge particle accelerators about the size of a football field that accelerate electrons to speeds approaching the speed of light. The insights they provide advance fields including life science, engineering, environmental science, physical and materials science, and even cultural heritage where non-destructive synchrotron techniques can be used to answer questions in palaeontology, archaeology, art history and forensics. The EU-funded STREAMLINE project is ensuring that the groundbreaking facilities at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) will be used with optimal efficiency. Accommodating more users, more varied experiments and more data requires a new business plan including training of user communities, updated access modes and innovative service packages. STREAMLINE will foster sustainability and high-impact exploitation.


STREAMLINE aims to ensure the long-term sustainability of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in the context of its upgrade to be the first in a new generation of synchrotrons. The ESRF is a user-based research infrastructure, serving 7,000 researchers annually. In 2020, the ESRF’s Extremely Brilliant Source (ESRF-EBS), which is a 2018 ESFRI Roadmap Landmark, will begin user operation delivering a revolutionary new fourth-generation synchrotron and adding four new state-of-the-art X-ray beamlines. Thanks to an initial x100 beam brilliance enhancement and x50 in coherence, with particularly strong impact for micro- and nano-beams, ESRF-EBS will enable novel experimental capabilities across basic, applied and industrial science on all of ESRF’s 44 X-ray beamlines, addressing major societal challenges.

The full exploitation of the ESRF-EBS poses new long-term sustainability challenges arising from the exploitation of its unprecedented X-ray beams. There will be more users, more samples and more data through faster and wholly new experiments, and new services could be created. STREAMLINE will therefore make key updates to the facility’s scientific strategy, renew its business plan and revisit access modes, with a new access service package, to capitalise rapidly on the new scientific opportunities and increased experimental capacities at the beamlines. Benefits will be felt by both academia and industry. Support and training of user communities, existing, emerging and new, to encourage use of the new opportunities is an essential part of STREAMLINE. This will allow the ESRF to become rapidly the first operational demonstrator of a fourth-generation synchrotron. The results of STREAMLINE will be shared with European light sources, many of which plan EBS-type upgrades following the ESRF.

STREAMLINE will increase the sustainability of the ESRF itself and aid the European light source community in their rapid exploitation of EBS-type upgrades.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 4 997 462,50
38000 Grenoble

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Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Rhône-Alpes Isère
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 4 997 462,50