Diamond Concise Annual Review 2021/22

4 5 D I A M O N D L I G H T S O U R C E A N N U A L R E V I E W 2 0 2 1 / 2 2 D I A M O N D L I G H T S O U R C E A N N U A L R E V I E W 2 0 2 1 / 2 2 CEOWelcome A s the financial year is ending, the pandemic has become an endemic disease that we are all trying to manage as best as possible whilst returning to our day-to-day activity of running the facility. A sense of caution matched with a desire for normality is hard to balance but at Diamond we have done our best to keep going, managing risks as we could under the new circumstances. Added to this challenge, the war in Ukraine has unsettledmany staff andmembers of our user community. As always, we have been resourceful in the face of such challenges and deployed a range of measures supporting staff and users in relocating their affected families to safety. In 2022 we do however havemuch to celebratewith a special double anniversary for Diamond, marking 20 years since the company was first created through the Joint Venture Agreement between the UK Government through the Central Council of the Laboratory of the Research Councils and the Wellcome Trust at the time, as well as 15 years since we first opened our doors to our research community. We will be marking this important milestone withmultiple activities across the year including a large-scale photographic exhibition. Our first socioeconomic impact report carried out together with Technopolis, along with support from our funding agencies, was launched in May last year. The report received over 2,000 views and some 1,500 downloads and has become an influential piece of work within the research infrastructure community with many learning from its methodology and approach. With 14,000 researchers interested in using our instruments, our position remains very strong given that Diamond has for the period 2007-2020 achieved a cumulative monetised impact of at least £1.8 billion whilst costing each UK taxpayer only £2.45 per year for this amazing impact. These tremendous benefits are a credit to our dedicated staff, contractors and agency workers who enable innovation, push the boundaries of what can be measured and offer excellent support and service to the science delivered internally as well as externally. Our peer review publications have reached 11,500 as we close the year. We are heartened that 50% of the catalogue is now published straight away with open access and the quality remains very strong with over 42% in journals with impact factors of five and above. COVID-19 made it impossible to allow users back on site for experiments for much of the past two years, so it was difficult to continue to support more specialised experiments despite the heroic work of many at Diamond to compensate for the loss of hands-on user engagement. We anticipate therefore a temporary drop in the annual number of publications, noting that it takes two to three years from measurement to publication. Ensuring our science is widely disseminated has always been a priority and one of the highlights of the past year was welcoming Sir David Attenborough to the facility where he hosted amajor BBC documentary on the last days of the Dinosaurs. Other successful campaigns included the COVID Moonshot, which is driving five drug compounds into the first stages of clinical trials required. We have also seen an amazing cataloguing of high-resolution images of beetles for the Natural History Museum, enabled by the transfer of robotics technology for sample changing fromMX beamlines to the imaging beamline 13. For the period 2021-2022, we received 1,116 proposals for experiments on our instruments via peer reviewed access routes, requesting a total of 12,635 shifts. After peer review, 719 proposals were awarded beamtime. This resulted in 6,983 experimental shifts being awarded across 33 beamlines and eight electron microscopes. We welcomed 2,460 on-site user visits from academia across all instruments, with an additional 4,253 remote user visits. Themachine continues to perform to a high standard with 97.4 % uptime and 110 hours mean time between failures (MTBF). Diamond also provides services critical to industry in the UK, with over 200 companies making use of the facility since operations began, normally paying £3 million per annum for proprietary access. The Diamond-II upgrade programme, an integrated upgrade of the synchrotron, beamlines and computational facilities, critical to maintaining our world-leading status, further progressed with preliminary funding allocated by Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Wellcome in early summer 2021. A major milestone in securing full funding from the UK Government was achieved with approval of the Outline Business Case (OBC) by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT). This approval also builds on an early commitment of support fromWellcome for their funding share. Together with the Technical Design Report (TDR) for the machine completed and approved by the Diamond Machine Advisory Committee, alongside Conceptual Design Reports (CDRs) for three flagship beamlines, Diamond is in a very strong position to complete the Full Business Case later in 2022, which is the last stage of approval required for release of full funding for the Programme. Success to date in planning and securing funding for Diamond-II owes a tremendous amount to Dr Laurent Chapon, who took a lead in developing the science case, introduced the idea of increasing the energy of the storage ring to optimise performance of beamlines for the key needs of our research community, and was the first Diamond-II Programme Director. Laurent has now taken up the position of Associate Laboratory Director for Photon Sciences and Director of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory, USA – chapeau ! This year it has been very pleasing to witness the rise of the DIAD beamline. This is the first in the world able to switch between imaging and diffraction in a matter of seconds and its presence is already drawing an international community positioning Diamond as world-leading once again. Scientific success abounds elsewhere in Diamond too, illustrated throughout this Review. For example, this year on I04, an international team investigated the potential of new molecules with antibiotic properties, examining how these interact at a molecular level, with the aim to develop a new family of antibiotics. Our integrated facilities also achieved great science with a collaborative team from University of Queensland, University of Leeds, University of Cambridge and University of Paris-Saclay who studied next-generation composite glass at the electron Physical Sciences Imaging Centre (ePSIC) that can be used for smartphones or solar panels by determining the structure of this newmaterial. Throughout 2021, Diamond undertook an assessment process run by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), and in October we were delighted to be presented with the Bronze EngageWatermark award. This recognises the commitment of Diamond to Public Engagement with over 80,000 visitors reached so far through a programme of engagement at the heart of the facility supporting the UK Skills’ agenda in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Our work with undergraduates and postgraduates is also strengthening with a total cohort this year reaching 136 is the staff in every single part of the organisation, all of whomplay an essential role in our success. Every staff member deserves a special thank you! Added to this, I have been greatly impressed over the past year with the work of the employee led inclusion groups, for example the proactive changes brought around disability awareness through the universal accessibility group, which resulted in improved processes, website, education for managers and staff as well as enhanced support for those affected. Widening participation is another important issue, and we hope that many interested in applying to Diamond, would experience a welcoming and nurturing environment. Probably the biggest challenge we face as an organisation is continuing to recruit and retain excellent people at a time when public sector pay was frozen (this is now lifted) so a priority for the future for Diamond must be to persuade policy makers that major investment in capital must be matched by appropriate investment in people. Professor Andrew Harrison OBE CEO Diamond Light Source in total - PhDs (109), Year in Industry (12) and Summer Placements (15). Using themethodologies developed to integratevirtual activities intovisitor numbers, Diamond has had over 7,300 significant interactions with ‘virtual’ visitors. These include 2,949 for scientific and technical events, 267 undergraduate and postgraduate interactions, 3,828 school students and members of the public, and 279 VIPs and Stakeholders. Over 95% of all these were virtual while we continued to adjust to the second year of the pandemic. Amongst the few in person interactions, we worked hard to maintain within ongoing restrictions at the time, was the Diamond Academy – a work experience programme for secondary students organised by our Public Engagement team. We were delighted to welcome 36 students to work alongside Diamond volunteer supervisors on 18 different projects across the organisation. Diamond is a flagship investment for the UK with returns far beyond the science delivered and I remain very optimistic that our future Diamond- II upgrade will enable us to remain world-leaders in the field. However, the greatest asset Diamond has in delivering transformative science and innovation Diamond has for the period 2007-2020 achieved a cumulative monetised impact of at least £1.8 billionwhilst costing eachUK taxpayer only £2.45 per year for this amazing impact.