Professor Gerd Materlik, CEO of Diamond, and Professor Mikhail Kovalchuk, Director of Kurchatov and Shubnikov Institutes signing the Memorandum of Understanding
The signing will be undertaken by Professor Gerhard Materlik, Chief Executive of Diamond Light Source Ltd, and Professor Mikhail Kovalchuk, Director of Kurchatov and Shubnikov Institutes, in the presence of the Deputy British Ambassador, Laurie Bristow. Speaking on the growth of UK-Russian scientific collaboration, Laurie Bristow said, "the UK government values and supports scientific co-operation and collaboration and is very glad to see these strong links being developed by the three institutions. We believe there is much to be gained in co-operation for the benefit of scientists and people from both countries".
Professor Materlik commented, "Synchrotron science has developed rapidly in the last 20 years thanks to a very open, collaborative spirit among the community. Diamond has been carrying out experiments since January 2007 and our users are starting to publish scientific papers based on there work here. It is a very positive move for us to be able to sign this MoU with the Kurchatov Institute and the Shubnikov Institute of Crystallography. It will enable us to combine expertise to accomplish significant scientific goals, develop common specialized knowledge and effective use of facilities, and increase cooperation and mutual support between the three organisations. The aim is for all three institutes to give the best integrated service to users in our own countries and the international community of scientists."
Professor Mikhail Kovalchuk, Director of Kurchatov and Shubnikov Institutes, commented, "Close cooperation between British and Russian academia in the field of synchrotron radiation has been established for more than twenty years. The opportunities opened up by the signing of this Memorandum will allow this cooperation to continue, flourish and expand into exciting new areas such as nanotechnology."
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Diamond Light Source, the UK’s new synchrotron facility, began operations in January 2007 with 7 beamlines offering research capabilities in a range of scientific fields. The number of experimental stations/beamlines will be expanded to 22 beamlines by 2011.
This 21st century machine can be described as a series of 'super microscopes' housed in a 235m diameter doughnut-shaped building. Eventually Diamond could provide as many as 40 different scientific experimental stations. A key goal of Diamond is to become a leading UK research base with a unique culture that cross-fertilises ideas from different fields of science.
Diamond produces ultra-violet and X-ray beams of unprecedented quality & brightness, in the region of 100 billion times brighter than hospital X-ray machines. These enable scientists & engineers to look deep into the basic structure of matter, materials, and biological samples. With such techniques, researchers will conduct highly advanced experiments leading to scientific breakthroughs in the fields of biotechnology, medicine, environment & materials research. Researchers, primarily from academia but also industry, are expected to come from across Europe to use the facility. As part of the service, dedicated Diamond researchers are available to assist with devising and carrying out the experiments.
The synchrotron is operated by Diamond Light Source Limited. This new company is a successful joint venture between two shareholders. The UK Government through the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) own 86% of shares, whilst The Wellcome Trust, one of the world's leading biomedical research charities and the UK's largest non-governmental source of funds for biomedical research, own 14%.
For over 60 years of its existence, Russian Research Centre "Kurchatov Institute" (RRC KI) has played a key role in solving many issues of crucial importance for the country’s development and national security assurance. The problems solved with active involvement and under the scientific guidance of RRC KI include development and creation of nuclear weapons, nuclear on-surface and submarine fleets and the country’s nuclear power industry.
RRC KI has created the country’s first specialized synchrotron radiation source, which, together with IR-8 neutron reactor, became the basis for deployment of works in the fields of nanotechnology and radiation material science. Today many national economy branches demand the unique opportunities the Kurchatov Institute can provide. The Centre performs R&D in the following areas:
For the period of its existence, the Kurchatov Institute has turned into a multi-profile national research centre having a developed experimental base, which includes: nuclear reactors and critical facilities, thermonuclear fusion and plasma technology installations, a cluster technological line for microelectronics, accelerator complexes, synchrotron radiation and neutron sources, and many other facilities.
The Shubnikov Institute of Crystallography Russian Academy of Science was founded in November of 1943, and is now one of the leading and well-known scientific centers performing the studies along with three main directions – growth, structure and properties of crystals. During these more than 60 years the Institute has undertaken considerable research activity and has been repeatedly rewarded for its discoveries. In these years a number of outstanding scientists have worked at the Institute, and have had several new minerals named after them.
Recently, great attention is also paid to developing the scientific program and the mathematic apparatus and methods for using synchrotron-radiation sources located in the Moscow oblast for structural studies of various organic and inorganic materials. The Institute is also specialized in particular investigations of condensed matter structure by various scattering techniques; synthesis and research of new crystals, multifunctional materials, nanomaterials and structures and bioorganic systems.
The Shubnikov Institute of crystallography closely cooperates with numerous Ministries, Institutes, state and commercial Companies both in Russia and in the National Universities, Laboratories, Centers in USA, China, and many European and Asian countries.
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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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