Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 215

The partners, specifically the STFC Central Laser Facility (CLF) in Didcot,
near Oxford, and the HiLASE facility in Prague, plan to use the money to
transform HiLASE into a technologically advanced centre of excellence.
This will aim to serve a broad scientific and industrial laser user
community and would allow HiLASE to access the world leading expertise
and technology already available within the CLF.
The partners are now preparing a business case to secure up to €20m
of further funding to realise the goal, a proposal that will go forward for
examination at the second stage of the Teaming initiative. If successful,
the new funding will also establish the centre as an innovation hub,
raising the region’s scientific and economic performance.
‘Next generation’
Commenting on the news, director of the Institute of Physics Professor
Jan Ridky said: “We are delighted that we have been selected for the
first stage of funding to develop a full business case for the
implementation stage of our project. This is a wonderful opportunity for
us to develop our HiLASE laser into a world class centre of excellence
as a user facility. We are greatly looking forward to working with our STFC
partners over the coming months.”
The STFC’s CLF is recognised as a world leader in the development of
‘next-generation’ laser technology based on diode pumping, which is at
the heart of this partnership project. This technology enables high power
laser operation at high repetition rates of many pulses per second. It will
drive new laser-based applications in industry, such as advanced material
treatments and energy production.
Adding his thoughts, Professor John Collier, director of the STFC’s CLF,
said: “Selection of our stage one proposal is excellent news. CLF and
the Institute of Physics in Prague have a long and highly productive
history of collaboration and partnership in many areas of laser
development, and our user communities have conducted many
successful experiments together. I congratulate the project team on their
success and look forward to the next stage in the collaboration.”
The Horizon 2020 Teaming initiative aims to establish and reinforce
partnerships between countries with collaborations between regional
research institutes and their international leading counterparts.
The UK has always been a pioneer in new scientific endeavours and is
once again demonstrating a crucial role as a research partner in Horizon
2020. Through both policy and affirmative action, the country is aiding
Europe’s RDI breakthroughs whilst ensuring the continent’s international
competitiveness with North America and Asia.
strengthen the global science base. Within
Europe, UK researchers benefit from access to
leading international research facilities, such as
the European Organization for Nuclear Research
(CERN) and the Large Hadron Collider, as well
as the framework programme funding for
research and innovation.
“We are also working with other member
states to create a European Research Area
roadmap which will set out priorities for
creating an open space for research and
innovation by mid-2015, and we are
collaborating with other EU countries on joint
programming initiatives to address global
challenges such as dementia, climate change
and antimicrobial drug resistance.”
Looking abroad
In his final comments to Portal, the minister
emphasised the importance of international
research collaboration beyond Europe, noting
some of the schemes in which the UK is
involved in the Americas and Asia.
“Beyond Europe’s borders, we are signed up to
a number of international science and
technology agreements with countries such as
India and the Caribbean and Latin America
countries. Our bilateral scientific activities are
supported by the UK Government’s Science and
Innovation Network, which is based in key
countries around the world to enhance our
engagement with the international science
community on the ground.”
Teaming for lasers
One example of where the UK is building a
closer research relationship with its European
partners is in the field of photonics. In February,
the UK’s Science & Technology Facilities
Council (STFC) announced a new partnership
project with the Czech Institute of Physics after
winning €500,000 of funding from the first
phase of Horizon 2020’s Teaming initiative,
part of the ‘Spreading excellence and widening
participation’ cross-cutting pillar.
B R OW S E
H O R I Z O N
2 0 2 0
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
I S S U E S I X
215
U K F O C U S
UK Science Minister
Greg Clark travelled to
India in November
2014 to discuss
closer ties in
science, education
and R&I
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