Testimonial from ENRIITC – an inspiration to build a unique network

Dr Sonia Utermann works as the In-kind procurement and Industry Contact Officer at FAIR (the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) in Darmstadt, Germany. Inspired by ENRIITC activities, Sonia built a national ILO network in FAIR. Sonia kindly agreed to an interview with Sylwia Justyna Wojtowicz from the ENRIITC consortium.

Thanks for your time, Sonia. Firstly, please could you tell us about your interaction with ENRIITC?

I was involved in the ENRIITC project since the very beginning. I had noticed that FAIR could do a lot more to support companies from our shareholders’ countries. And because I didn’t know how to do that I had to find people that had this knowledge. The timing of ENRIITC was perfect, I had just started and was seeking knowledge and good practices.

Please can you tell us how the system of industry liaison works at FAIR?

We are actively working with companies. Germany cannot build FAIR alone, we need all of our shareholders involved in a system that would allow us to develop knowledge, give us support for the running costs and enable exchange of staff. FAIR shareholders are actually our partners. Regardless of how big the share is, every partner has an equal vote (Germany owns 70% of all shares and 1 vote, equally with countries owning only 1% of shares).

Is there a mechanism for geo-return in FAIR?

We are not an international organisation so we must obey German procurement law. We do not have a principal system of geo-return. We need to rely on the relation system with our partners and build an inside mechanism of support. We are making an effort to support small investors, who invest a significant budget in FAIR. We try to find industrial partners and human resources in those countries.

How can companies apply?

FAIR is accessible to any company, it is an open procedure. We use the EU or the German tender platform, but we ensure as much communication as possible is in English. If a company needs more time, we can grant it. Most tender specifications are in English. Also we prepared a step-by-step guide to the German tender platform for companies. Moreover, if a company contacts me, I will help them find opportunities at FAIR, not only in procurement but also in technology transfer and R&D projects.

How has ENRIITC helped you in your work?

For the very first time, I met people that were doing the same job. It was perfect timing as I was a curious beginner looking for information, and I found a lot of it in ENRIITC. I was inspired by the brokerage events, coffee meetings and discussion. I would say that I was a student and am now a graduate from the ENRIITC project!

ENRIITC taught me what the job of an ILO and ICO is, and how they do their job. The project inspired me to build a unique ILO network at FAIR. It started as a small system of communication and improvements and now is an official system of ILOs from shareholders countries, approved by the FAIR Council. Also, we are connecting with ILO networks from countries that are not shareholders of FAIR, using the ENRIITC community.

MoU: Let’s build the future of ENRIITC together!

After almost three years, the ENRIITC project will soon complete its first chapter and reach its formal end date. We see this as the exciting beginning to a new chapter for ENRIITC that we are looking forward to writing with you!

We are currently preparing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This non-legally binding agreement will signify an intention to work together towards the establishment of a sustainable framework to support and foster RI-industry engagement.

A MoU sets an official framework during the Transition Phase of the ENRIITC Network starting 1 January 2023 where the signatories will undertake the responsibility to support the activities of the ENRIITC Network according to an annual plan that will be proposed by the ENRIITC Network Steering Board.

The MoU is open for signature to large-scale pan-European Research Infrastructures willing to work together to set-up and strengthen their relationship with industry, and also to Industry Liaison Officer representatives.

If you are interested in being part of the ENRIITC network, please email us so that we can keep you updated with our work in this area – enriitc@ess.eu

We look forward to building the future of ENRIITC together!

Testimonial from ENRIITC – supported ESO Instruments Industry event

Hans Priem is Business Manager at VDL, an international industrial and manufacturing conglomerate with headquarters in the Netherlands. He attended the ESO “Instruments Industry” event on 7 April 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland, that was supported by ENRIITC. Hans kindly agreed to talk to us about his attendance at the event.

Thanks for your time, Hans. Firstly, what did you get out of attending the ESO “Instruments Industry” event in April?

The event was very useful for receiving targeted updates on what is going on in the field and also as a networking opportunity.

Did the event have any impact on your business?

Yes, the event did have an impact on my business in general. Not financially per se, but it was very useful to have an update on the scientific instruments, and helpful in terms of our assessment as to whether we could have added value in the field. It was also informative to see what was going on in a specific project and organization. This type of event is important for us to make informed choices; they’re also great for building international contacts.

What is the potential impact of this event on your business?

The impact of this event was that we gained access, or have more secured access, to relevant technology. Additionally, we were able to grow our network of potential collaborators.

Speaking of collaborators, did you meet any potential new ones at the event?

Yes, the ENRIITC event helped facilitate initial contact with other companies and national entities so that we could network and discuss future business opportunities. It is possible that I will do business with these new relations, possibly in the form of working with them in a consortium. As with all new partnerships, it takes time to get to know each other and build trust, but these sorts of ENRIITC events are great for networking before initiating collaborations, like setting up a consortium.

Great – thanks again for your time, Hans.

Thank you.

ForMAX: the new research station for research on sustainable materials from the forest

ForMAX, a new, unique research station for studies of sustainable materials from the forest using synchrotron X-ray light, is now opening for next-generation research experiments at MAX IV in Sweden. There is great interest in the new beamline from both industry and academia.

ForMAX is specially designed for advanced studies on materials from the forest and is an initiative of several major players who have joined forces. The research station consists of a beamline where synchrotron X-ray light will be used to study the materials at the nano level up to the millimeter level.

ForMAX will be very important for the fundamental academic research that is conducted on wood-based materials, which is the basis for the material applications that can then be developed”, says Eva Malmström Jonsson, director of the Wallenberg Wood Science Center, WWSC.

The construction of the beamline has been funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, and the operating costs are funded by the industry through Treesearch, a Swedish collaborative platform for academic and industrial research in new materials from the forest.

One goal of the investment is to be able to develop new products from materials from the forest that can, among other things, replace today’s plastic products.

“Through the engagement in ForMAX, academia and industry have a fantastic access point to the MAX IV research environment. Through ForMAX, we are laying the foundation for broad, unique competence that enables ground-breaking research within the field”, says Daniel Söderberg, director of Treesearch.

ForMAX is part of the MAX IV research facility in Lund, where the world’s strongest X-ray light for advanced research is produced. The first experiments at ForMAX are performed by market-leading industry companies, including Tetra Pak, and researchers from the Wallenberg Wood Science Center.

Read more here!

Send your sample day: the ESRF call for industries is open!

Do you know what synchrotron X-rays can do?

If you have not used synchrotron X-rays yet, but your research or innovation could use  “making the invisible visible”, then our Send Your Sample Day is a great chance to find out what the ESRF nondestructive 3D micro and nano imaging techniques can do.

The ESRF (the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility), situated in Grenoble (France), is the world`s brightest synchrotron light source. It provides scientists with brilliant X-rays to unveil the structure of materials and the mechanism of life. On top of that, the large-scale facility is a major driver of industrial research and innovation, supporting industry in providing solutions to global challenges and boosting competitiveness.

Send Your Sample Day is an ESRF for Industry initiative, a free of charge opportunity offered to a selected number of newcomers, who will have the possibility to visualise microstructure of their sample.

Any industrial company can apply – you just have to complete a short application form (which can be found here) by Thursday 10 November 2022 at 4:00PM – CET.


Learn more about the call here!

Empowering the industry multipliers

The ENRIITC project strives to optimise the societal impact of Research Infrastructures by improving the engagement between RIs and industry in EU Member States.

Faced with the effects of the war in Ukraine, inflation and raw material bottlenecks, the European states are grappling with the delivery of ambitious Next Generation EU post-pandemic recovery projects in the midst of also a rising energy crisis and green transition ambitions.

Interest is strong in exploiting the innovation potential of RIs that are increasingly recognised as potential key partners for companies developing cutting-edge new health, green and digital transformation applications and services across industrial sectors.

In this scenario of heightened expectations and new opportunities for both RIs and companies, the ENRIITC “hub and spoke” model presented in the report D3.1, of pan-EU, one-stop-shop innovation officers’ multiplier network and support service working specifically to spur new RI-industry connections is poised to play an increasingly important role.

And with these structures on the table, the role of the principal multiplier persons, Industrial Liaisons Officers working at a national level and Industrial Contact Officers employed at the RIs, should be defined more closely.

The new ENRIITC report D3.5 offers a set of recommendations in the form of a vademecum of practical steps and Key Performance Indicators for focusing the effort of ICOs and ILOs and maximizing the impact.

The report makes specific recommendations of actions to:

  • Strengthen RIs role as key players and partners in the wider European innovation ecosystem
  • Professionalise and standardise the ILO and ICO competencies, job descriptions, training and career paths in Europe
  • Prioritise duties, initiatives and KPIs ILOs and ICOs need to undertake to make the ENRIITC Strategy for RI-Industry Cooperation (detailed in D3.2) a success
  • Help bridge the innovation gap by supporting the early development of key technologies for use in new societal applications.

CERN COURIER features ENRIITC: collaboration is the key!

© ℗®™ Joe McEntee – CERN Courier

The European Network for Research Infrastructures and Industry for Collaboration (ENRIITC) has emerged as something of a bridge-builder between large-scale science facilities and key stakeholders in industry since its formation in January 2020.

In the In Focus report on Big Science and Industry of CERN Courier, through an interview with Anne-Charlotte Joubert (ENRIITC project coordinator and grants officer at the European Spallation Source-ESS), it’s explained how ENRIITC is helping ILOs and ICOs to join the dots between big science and industry.

Success is all about longevity: if the ENRIITC network is strong and sustained, the project has succeeded.”What does that look like? I guess one tangible measure of success over the next decade will be the launch, and widescale adoption, of the ENRIITC Innovation and Industry Services Central Support Hub – a unifying vehicle to scale and diversify the innovation ecosystem connecting RIs with industry.

With over 500 network members – including more than 100 industry liaison and contact officers (ILOs/ICOs) from Europe’s big-science labs and the university research sector – ENRIITC’s goal is to accelerate the societal and economic impact of national and pan-European research programmes, working together to define best practices for industry’s relationship (as supplier, user or collaborator) with Europe’s large-scale research infrastructures (RIs).

In the article, not only the ENRIITC connection strategies towards ILOs, ICOs and industry have been analysed, but other important topics on which the project focuses from its kick off have been discussed, such as: support for training and education for our Members, the lessons-learned about the relationship between Europe’s large-scale research facilities and industry, the forecast on a potential ENRIITC N2 and much more.

Thanks again to CERN Courier for this great opportunity, the complete article can be found here!

We are looking forward to engaging with the community and to welcoming all the participants in our upcoming events at BSBF 2022 and at ICRI 2022!

The eRImote project

The eRImote project is the first to consider solutions for digital and remote service provision across RI domains and to look for transferable practices and new developments that will improve accessibility and resilience of RI infrastructures.

While existing processes will be collected, eRImote will also explore new solutions using defined use cases to develop and test their implementation in RI scenarios.

This will take us beyond the state-of-the-art for concrete solutions.

The eRImote consortium is relatively small with eight beneficiary participants representing four main ESFRI RI Roadmap domains.


However, the consortium extends much more broadly through the existing contacts and networking partners of each of the project participants, increasing the reach out to hundreds of individuals, other European and global RIs, scientific networks, RI users, industry partners and policy makers.

Learn more about the project here!

ENRIITC @IndTech: From Frontier Science to Frontier Industry – How basic and Big Science may be a seed for future needs

#ENRIITCyourCoffee Season 5 Episode 3 with Neutron Quality Label (R)

Welcome to the recap of #ENRIITCyourCoffee episode three of our fifth season. We continued with the topic of the previous episode that you can check out here – neutrons. We had the pleasure of hearing from Sandra Cabeza, Co-responsible scientist at SALSA Stress Diffractometer, Institute Laue Langevin (ILL).

What has been done before?

Sandra started off by explaining how neutron string diffraction characterisation is not a novel topic and there have already been efforts worldwide that culminated with a technological trend assessment in 2001. All the definitions and best practices were laid down (which are the hkR planes to measure in a monochromatic instrument) for a good starting point for system recession actions, or neutral materials and stress scanning. Unfortunately, these are general approaches for instrument alignment procedures and a broad scope of definitions and equations.

What is done now?

Sandra gives a great overview of the current communities and efforts on neutron strain result harmonisation at 03:04 in the video below. Broadly those can be divided into three:

  1. Neutron Techniques Standardisation for Structural Integrity (NET) – An in-kind working group between neutron sources, synchrotron sources, industry and academy to assess the reliability of the characterization of resilience stress through diffraction methods. Sandra describes this.
  2. BrigtNESS2 – Neutral ecosystem for sustainable service with science. This is to ensure the long-term sustainability of the user community, particularly for the engineering community.
  3. EAISTRESS – More industrially oriented and the main focus is on this data exchange procedures

Pilot projects for a common Neutron Quality Label for residual stress analysis

Sandra mentions that it has been a significant effort in developing definitions and measurements between all the institutes. She summarises the goal of the project well (at 05:23 in the video): to build confidence in the industry, meaning there is a method with ISO technological assessment standards and round-robin tests across the world.

“Therefore we said let’s stick together let’s define the similar samples that we have for aligning our instruments and reporting this precision and accuracy of the values. Let’s decide on a common sample and let’s start from scratch.”

Overall the goal was to define a protocol and a more precise guideline building on the ISO standard in addition to a common report template so we all know what is important. Check out the internal certification exercise below at 06:43.

From the internal certification exercise with 4 institutions they agreed that after the exercise all parties improved on 6 points as more efficient in calibration procedures, more accurate in sample alignment system, more robust in data analysis for entry scans and 3 more points that you can see from Sandra’s presentation at 09:51 in the video.

Later on, they complimented the exercise with an Airbus cylinder measurement with neutrons and all institutions had a similar result.

“We proved that we could actually enhance the industrial access to multiple facilities.”

In conclusion, Sandra confirmed that the results of the pilot projects meant that the collaborative method has given them a significant advantage both scientifically and economically. In the spirit of true collaboration, all conditions can be extended to other facilities and include more partners.

“The main or the ultimate objective of the BrightNESS² is this long-term sustainability of the community so I think we have proven here a good example that this is feasible when we work together.”

This was the end of Sandra’s presentation and the floor was open for the rest of our coffee break to pick Sandra’s brain for a great collaboration experience.

Find out more and browse the previous episodes here.