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SINE2020 Report Summary

Project ID: 654000
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SINE2020 (World class Science and Innovation with Neutrons in Europe 2020 – SINE2020)

Reporting period: 2015-10-01 to 2017-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

SINE2020 – world-class Science and Innovation with Neutrons in Europe – unites 18 partners from European neutron centres, universities and research institutes, around two major goals:
- Preparing the European neutron community for the unique opportunities to be provided by tomorrow’s European Spallation Source (ESS).
- Developing the innovation potential of today’s large-scale neutron facilities.
The ESS is the largest ESFRI research infrastructure project/landmark (Strategy Report on Research Infrastructures, Roadmap 2016). User activity on the first generation of neutron instruments at the ESS is planned for 2023; full power with a suite of 22 instruments is expected for 2029. The success of the ESS depends on the continuity of motivation and scientific excellence within the European community of neutron researchers, the largest neutron community worldwide.
To achieve its goals SINE2020 has been structured into 10 work packages. WP1 to WP4 address two common objectives: foster collaboration among the user community and nurture future generations of users, from academia and industry. WP5 to WP10 consist of Joint Research Activities concentrating on technical tasks identified as important for the scientific challenges to be addressed by this community.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

All the partners have achieved the deliverables and milestones within the timeline. The kick-off took place in October 2015. The partners discussed the progress made at their first SINE2020 General Assembly in Portugal, 6 September 2016.
WP2–Dissemination has documented all the achievements and progress made by the different WPs, using the project’s internet platform ( This platform went on-line in January 2016 and has received about 1000 visitors/month on average. It announces the periodic calls for industrial experiments, neutron schools, job offers, and other such events.
WP3–Training neutron scattering, e-learning and schools hosts and develops the specialized e-learning portal for neutron scattering and complimentary techniques, such as muon spin rotation. The portal registered 1400 visits by March 2017. WP3 has also launched two calls for support for introductory and advanced neutron schools in the first reporting period.
WP4-Industry Consultancy visited 22 events in the first 18 months. Discussions with industrial researchers were constructive and have led to test experiments at some of the facilities. WP4 is assisted by an international industry advisory board; representatives from key technological and industrial sectors support its activities and decisions.
WP5–Deuteration partners have successfully produced a wide variety of both routine and non-routine deuterated precursors and surfactants (STFC Deuteration facility), small deuterated molecules, precursors for the first target molecule lactic acid (DEULAB at ESS), and the commercially and technologically important isoprene and polyhexylthiophene (P3HT) polymers. The partnership has created the DEUNET platform coordinated by ESS, for networking, dissemination and outreach.
WP6- Macromolecular crystallogenesis investigates the feasibility of designing and implementing automated robotic approaches for the growth of large macromolecular crystals. ILL is testing magnetic alignment in strong magnetic fields (17T). The ESS is investigating strategies for large crystal growth based on vapour-diffusion and dialysis, with temperature as a major parameter. FZJ has studied the crystallisation process with light scattering techniques, to understand the importance of the early phase of crystallisation for the later size of protein crystals.
WP7–Sample Environment develops standards to facilitate communication between the instrument control workstation and sample environment equipment. ICMA has developed a simulation code to reduce parasitic background from sample environment devices; this has been successfully tested against real experiments. Several techniques to improve time efficiency have been implemented, such as remotely controlled goniometer heads inside dilution fridges and reduced cooling times for furnaces. Various designs for new pressure cells are on the way, including a piston cell for muon instruments with an expected 50% pressure increase.
WP8-Instrumentation/e-tools has been focusing on exploiting synergies among existing simulation tools. The integration in McStas of the Monte Carlo variance reduction method, as used in the CombLayer and RESTRAX codes, has been discussed.
WP9–Detectors achieved at LIP two neutron-sensitive resistive plate chambers (RPCs). The detector characteristics have been measured in collaboration with TUM; they show neutron detection efficiency of 12.5% at 4.7 Å and impressive spatial resolution better than 0.25 mm.
WP10–Data Treatment: The software requirements of all the facilities have been identified. They were presented at the General Assembly meeting in Portugal. Common guidelines have been established and were presented during Workshop II at ILL on 24 and 25 April, 2017.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The tasks of all work packages have been given clearly defined objectives, with an impact beyond the time horizon of the SINE2020 project. Whilst preparing and reinforcing the European community for the scientific opportunities to be provided by the ESS, this project also develops the potential of Europe’s large-scale neutron facilities for innovation beyond 2020. The benefits of the technical improvements and training opportunities proposed will impact on the quality of the experiments and subsequent publications at the ESS and other large-scale neutron facilities in Europe. The commitment of all the partners to their tasks demonstrates the renewed and long-term capacity for innovation inherent to the neutron sector and its capacity to adapt to today’s societal challenges:
•Different platforms (e-neutron, DEUNET) have been defined and deployed by the SINE2020 project. These platforms play an important role in terms of outreach and long-term availability of the results obtained through the cooperation of our partners.
•During the initial period, our Industry Consultancy group has elaborated a strategy for addressing industrial partners; it will present a business model for industrial liaison in due course.
•we can cite a selection of technical tasks expected to lead into innovation: the use of deuterated, biologically relevant, unsaturated lipid membranes for investigations into the functionality of cell membranes and membrane proteins, providing avenues for research into health and disease, the synthesis of tailored polylactic acid polymers, to elucidate the properties of this important biodegradable plastic with biomedical and technological applications, the development of neutron furnaces with cooling rates superior by a factor of 5, increasing sample through-put on the instruments and reducing costly instrument down-time caused by sample manipulation, the development of 700 bar hydrogen containers to measure hydrogen diffusion in metal-hydride-based materials, promising more efficient materials for energy storage.
•SINE2020 has also been involved in the design and deployment of state-of-the-art software and virtual instruments for the community. This is seen as an important dimension of the programme, contributing to its influence on the experimental process and overall societal impact.

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