START launch event

Mar 27. till Mar 28.

Launch of Synchrotron Techniques for African Research and Technology

This event will bring together the Synchrotron Techniques for African Research and Technology (START) project’s Co-Investigators, their Postdoctoral Assistants and other special guests to hear updates and news on the project and to facilitate greater collaboration and learning on synchrotron, cryo-electron microscopy and other associated techniques.

It will provide a great opportunity for networking and discussing current and future research activities with colleagues from the UK and Africa – across both research streams: structural biology and energy materials. There will be presentations on the possibilities of synchrotron research, and beamline scientists from Diamond will share information on the research opportunities for scientific users in Africa and the UK.

27/03/20192019-03-27 - 28/03/20192019-03-28
St Catherine’s College, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UJ


START is a £3.7m project, led by Diamond Light Source, focusing on research that is important to development in Africa. The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) awarded the funding to Diamond from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), a 5-year £1.5Bn fund that is a key component in the delivery of the UK Aid Strategy, ensuring that UK research takes a leading role in addressing the problems faced by developing countries through research and innovation.

Africa does not yet have a synchrotron light source, but African researchers are keen to apply synchrotron techniques to their research problems. START will fund research posts in Africa and the UK, focusing on two research areas that are crucial to African development: energy and healthcare.

600 million people (70%) in sub-Saharan Africa live without electricity, and a reliable electricity supply is one of the most powerful tools for lifting people out of poverty and ending their dependency on aid. START researchers will investigate Energy Materials, including solar cell research and the development of catalysts and batteries. START’s second focus area is structural biology, with an emphasis on diseases such as HIV-AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and African horse sickness that are devastating to human and animal populations.

Outline Programme

A detailed programme will be available at the event.

Wednesday 27 March 2019

09:00 - 09:45 Registration & coffee
09:45 - 11:05 Plenary talks
11:05 - 11:30 Coffee
11:30 - 12:50 Plenary talks
12:50 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 15:15 Science presentations & discussion
15:15 - 15:30 Coffee
15:30 - 17:00 Committee meetings / Free time for non-committee members
17:00 - 18:00 Drinks reception
18:00 - 19:30 Dinner


Thursday 28 March 2019

09:10 - 10:45 Synchrotron talks
10:45 - 11:15 Coffee
11:15 - 12:45 Synchrotron talks
12:45 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 14:30 Transfer to Diamond for optional tour / Close
14:30 - 16:00 Tour of Diamond
16:00 - 17:00 Transfer back to St Catz


Contact & further information

This is an invitation only event. If you are interested in attending, please email