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Synchrotron Light Industry Applications

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Sylinda (Synchrotron Light Industry Applications)

Reporting period: 2021-01-01 to 2022-03-31

This project contributes to strengthen the capacities of research institutions of the widening countries. Sylinda aims at boosting the research and development capabilities of SOLARIS, the Polish Synchrotron facility, based on the experience brought by the partners’ consortium. SOLARIS is a new synchrotron facility built between 2011 and 2014 under the patronage of the Jagiellonian University, with support from the European Union and is the largest scientific research facility in Poland. Moreover, SOLARIS is the only synchrotron in the EU-13. Synchrotron based techniques are extremely valuable tools for fundamental and applied research. Besides solving basic research questions, SR techniques offer a broad range of new and unique opportunities for applied research for and in cooperation with partners from industry. For industry partners, they bear a high potential for improving existing products and processes and strengthening their innovation capacity. Successful establishment of a young synchrotron laboratory like SOLARIS on the other hand needs a growing user community. Attracting industry customers in addition to users from academia is therefore highly desirable for SOLARIS, to fully utilise the potential of conducting research projects in this largest research facility in Poland and only synchrotron facility in the EU-13. The X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) beamline of SOLARIS has been selected as the experimental technique that SOLARIS can focus on to sharpen its science profile mainly by adding a high resolution spectrometer which will make it scientifically excellent and very attractive for academic and industrial users dealing with low atomic number elements studies. New industry cooperation avenues with the Pharmaceutical-, rubber-, agro-, (micro-) biological, chemical- and cosmetics-sectors will be consequently opened. The SOLARIS staff structure is to be reinforced with an Industrial Liaision Officer, a beamline scientist and a grant officer to better serve those industries as well as the academic community. That staff will be enrolled in a twinning and training programs at the premises of the experienced partners to master their specialties. Special emphasis on improving industry research project management, proposal preparation and administration skills will be placed. A summer school on science management for early stage researches and their participation on industrial research projects will broad their views about industry innovation and funding opportunities. A focused communication plan together with an industrial workshop will put SOLARIS in the European scene of those scientific and industrial areas. All those activities are the first step forward that will be sustained beyond the end of thie project thanks to the networking and links established with the experienced partners that will open the doors to SOLARIS for future collaborations with other European and worldwide research institutions. No doubt this project aims to represent a quantum leap for SOLARIS in research and development terms.
Thanks to the support of the Partners, organizational and personal structures were created at SOLARIS, making it possible to start cooperation with industrial partners. The highly motivated team of specialists consisting of Bemline Scientist and Industrial Liaison Officer was created. SOLARIS has started to actively search for partners in the private sector and the first meetings with companies (mainy representing the chemical and pterochemical industries) took place. SOLARIS has also started talks with the Łukasiewicz Research Network, which may be of key importance for the development of industrial applications of synchrotron radiation. Łukasiewicz is the largest network in Poland uniting research institutes in order to better respond to the needs reported by the industry.The Industry Liaison Officer also participated in several conferences and meetings, learning about the activities of other light sources, promoting the services provided by SOLARIS, as well as in the networking meetings with the wider community of synchrotron radiation laboratories in Europe and worldwide. Communication channels of the SOLARIS offer in the field of application research have been developed, which resulted, among others, in the issue of "SOLARIS NEWS" magazine and the development of "SOLARIS industy-day" formula. The first industry-day (dedicated to cryo-microscopy) will be held in May 2022. At the same time, listening to the needs of enterprises, SOLARIS develops a research offer in the field of measurements of elements with a low atomic number, using the opportunity of a market niche diagnosed together with Partners in the field of commissioned research. Significant progress in the tasks related to the modernization of the SOLABS beamline has been recorded, in particular, good progress has been made in the installation of the fluroescence spectrometer. Despite the complications caused by the pandemic, we managed to prepare a very attractive training program for young scientists in the field of industrial research which will be initiated by the summer school, which will take place in October 2022.
The implementation of the project allows a better understanding of the important role SOLARIS can play in building bridges between the world of science and business practice. Being the operator of a large-scale research infrastructure, SOLARIS remains active in many multidisciplinary fields of science at the same time. Having such a wide range of expertise creates an enormous potential to respond to the needs reported by the industry, without the risk of limiting possible responses to one path only. Another barriers that SOLARIS may break are the communication differences between scientists and entrepreneurs. The key role in this process is the role of an appropriately qualified Industrial Liaison Officer who will support the effective exchange of information. Thanks to the development of cooperation with scientific networks with apparatus and complementary knowledge, SOLARIS may become an important contributor to the development of the knowledge-based economy. The project partners are also helping the Center's employees to discover the unique research opportunities created by the fact that the SOLARIS synchrotron is a medium and low energy device, which makes it competitive on a global scale, especially in the area of applied research, closest to potential industrial implementations.
SOLARIS NEWS magazine 1_2021
Project webpage - screenshot