More collaboration between ESS, the universities and the government

Aarhus University has entered into an agreement with six of the other Danish universities, the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education, and the European Spallation Source (ESS) to strengthen collaboration and knowledge sharing between ESS and the research environments in Denmark.

2017.11.22 | Peter F. Gammelby

The new agreement was signed by (from left) Thomas Bjørnholm (University of Copenhagen), Katrine Krogh Andersen (Technical University of Denmark), Niels Christian Beier (Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education), John Womersley (European Spallation Source), Henrik Bindslev (University of Southern Denmark) and Niels Chr. Nielsen (Science and Technology, Aarhus University).

When the world’s most powerful and most advanced neutron source facility – the European Spallation Source in Lund – is put into operation in 2025, it will help provide completely new standards for materials research.

At a ceremony on the building site on Monday 20 November, ESS signed a new agreement with the Danish universities and the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education. This will establish the framework for strengthening collaboration and knowledge sharing between ESS and the research environments in Denmark.

This includes making it possible for the universities and ESS to share the same PhD students and positions, and for Danish staff to be posted abroad at ESS and be involved in the operations.

The agreement also sets the framework for the way in which the universities can become directly involved in the development of the scientific mission for ESS Data Management and Software (DMSC) in Copenhagen, and in the construction and operations of the research instruments to be linked to ESS.

One of Aarhus University’s tasks is to spearhead the development and construction of the three-in-one Heimdal instrument, which combines powder diffraction, small-angle scattering and tomography to make it possible to follow a material from the atomic structure to the microscopic level. And what is more, in real time, making it possible to see how the material reacts to effects while they are happening.

“This new agreement is yet another milestone in the strategy to make Denmark one of the world’s leading centres for research into hard, soft and biological materials, where Aarhus University contributes to the national ESS strategy with proposals regarding research beacons in hard materials and biological structures. With the Centre for Integrated Materials Research (iMAT) – the strategic research centre that opened at Science and Technology in August – we’re already well ahead with turning our plans into reality. This interdisciplinary centre actually aims to create stronger bonds between internationally strong research activities and the business sector. We’re working on a corresponding initiative in the biological field,” says Dean Niels Chr. Nielsen, Science and Technology.

Read more about the agreement (in Danish only) here.

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