Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed that Diamond Light Source will receive funding for Phase III expansion in the Government’s spending review, part of a strategy to support world-class science and invest in infrastructure projects that contribute to economic growth.
Diamond will receive £69 million from the Large Facilities Capital Fund over the next four years. With additional funding from the Wellcome Trust and further investment in the next spending review, this will enable the construction of ten new beamlines by 2017, bringing the total to 32 and maximising Diamond’s potential to support UK science and industry.
“This is a very welcome announcement. Phase III will significantly enhance Diamond’s capabilities, and enable us to continue to establish a truly world-class facility for UK science. We are grateful for the continued support of the UK Government, the Science & Technology Facilities Council and the Wellcome Trust.”
Professor Gerd Materlik, Chief Executive of Diamond Light Source
Opened in 2007, Diamond is the largest medium energy light source in the world. Phase I comprises the synchrotron and 7 initial beamlines, which with a further 15 beamlines developed in Phase II (2007-2012) are used to conduct research in fields including structural biology, health and medicine, nanoscience, solid-state physics, earth science, chemistry, electronics, engineering, energy, food and environmental science.
Work by researchers at Diamond has already resulted in over 1,000 publications, many in leading scientific journals. Diamond is increasingly supporting industrial R&D, working with Rolls Royce on aerospace and energy applications, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline on drug discovery and development, and Johnson Matthey on improved emissions control catalysts.
The Chancellor’s announcement confirms the commitment to Phase III announced by the previous Government in March. A total of £111.2 million is expected to be invested over the next 7 years - £97.4 million from the Large Facilities Capital Fund and £13.8 million from the Wellcome Trust.
Phase III will give Diamond a world-leading capability in areas such as high spatial resolution and will have a major impact in the study of advanced materials, life sciences and in environmental research. The new beamlines will deploy cutting-edge synchrotron technology and enable techniques including long wavelength macromolecular crystallography, high-throughput small angle scattering, high resolution angle resolved photoelectron spectroscopy, and soft X-ray microscopy, with many potential new applications.
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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