Business secretary Lord Mandelson today announced almost £100m investment in Diamond so that a further 10 beamlines can be added to fully maximise the scientific discovery potential of the machine.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skill has allocated £97.4 million to the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) for Diamond’s Phase III development at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
Diamond is capable of studying a huge variety of samples from every discipline of scientific research. Recent examples of samples studied have included brain tissue to further our understanding of Parkinson’s disease and metal for hip replacements. Today’s funding boost, together with a £13.8 million contribution from the Wellcome Trust, will add 10 more beamlines to the cutting edge facility, eventually bringing the total to 32.
“Today we’re demonstrating our ambitious vision for UK science. By investing in one of the jewels of the nation’s science crown we’re building on record levels of investments over the past decade to secure the future of science and help drive innovation. Diamond, the world-best Light Source, shines a light on how strategic government investment in high-tech, high-skilled facilities can push at the boundaries of science and drive forward the new high-tech, high-skilled industries and jobs of the future.”
Professor Keith Mason, CEO of STFC said; "Since the start of operations in January 2007, Diamond has conducted experiments and delivered world class science in numerous areas ranging from trying to find new treatments for Alzheimer's disease and Parkinsons disease to investigating ways to clean up the environment. This extra money announced by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills will ensure Diamond can branch out into yet more fields of research, allowing Diamond to fully exploit the synchrotron’s capabilities for the UK science community and industrial users".
“We are very grateful for the continued support of the UK Government, the Science & Technology Facilities Council and the Wellcome Trust, which has been key to the successes we have achieved so far. Together with our wide user community from academia and industry, we have delivered on expectations so far. This Phase III capital investment demonstrates our funders’ commitment to the UK science base. The team will now focus on delivering the additional experimental facilities by 2017, which will enable us to increase our scientific outputs by 50%."
Prof Gerhard Materlik, Chief Executive of Diamond Light Source
Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said: "Diamond is a world class facility and it is essential that it has both the capital and the revenue funding necessary for it to deliver world class science. "We have been greatly impressed with the achievements of the team at Diamond who have delivered high quality beamlines on budget and to specification. The Wellcome Trust is very pleased to work in partnership with the Government, through STFC, to continue to support its development."
Research at the facility underpins innovation and development within technologies where the UK leads the world such as pharmaceuticals, aerospace, energy storage and transport.
The new beamlines will extend Diamond’s reach into novel areas: in industrial processing, engineering materials, forensics, environmental and medical science, archaeology, cultural heritage and food science.
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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