£90 Million Investment in ‘Endeavour’ Programme at STFC’s ISIS Neutron and Muon Source

The Science Technology and Facilities Council (STFC) has announced a £90 million Endeavour programme of improvements and instruments at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) ISIS Neutron and Muon Source is based at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, UK, and is a centre for research in the physical and life sciences. It is owned and operated by STFC.

The Neutron and Muon Source produces beams of neutrons and muons that allow scientists to study materials at the atomic level using a suite of instruments. It supports a national and international community of scientists who use neutrons and muons for research in physics, chemistry, materials science, geology, engineering and biology.

STFC has announced a £90 million programme of improvements and instruments – named ‘Endeavour’ – at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source. Endeavour will expand the research facility to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of global materials research, enabling further research to probe the structure of materials with extraordinary detail.

​Endeavour will increase Neutron and Muon Source’s capacity and capability, and enable its scientific user base to explore new areas of research, such as materials necessary for clean energy generation and chemicals needed to develop new medicines. It is anticipated that this investment will attract global talent and further financing.

The Endeavour programme will contribute to several UK Government science and technology strategies (eg in the area of net zero) and help to secure the UK’s status as a Science and Technology Superpower by 2030. Endeavour is majority funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Infrastructure Fund. It is a component of the UKRI and STFC strategic delivery plans and forms part of several UKRI and STFC strategies (eg the development of a skilled STEM workforce as part of the UKRI R&D People and Culture Strategy).

Professor Mark Thomson, Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Executive Chair, said:

‘Investment in critical research infrastructure such as this is essential to equip UK scientists to remain at the cutting edge of scientific progress and innovation, to address the ever-changing needs of society. Through Endeavour, STFC will facilitate exciting new research that will play a key role in helping us to protect against threats from global health crises to climate change. It will provide UK researchers with world-leading tools to transform our understanding of new materials and chemical processes that will support the UK’s ambitious science and technology strategy.’

Dr Alan Partridge, STFC Executive Director for National Laboratories: Large Scale Facilities, said:

‘This is the single largest investment in ISIS since the construction of the Second Target Station between 2003 and 2008. That investment enabled the delivery of UK research which would not have otherwise been possible, such as testing the integrity of nuclear power station components to extend their lifetime by up to eight years. Looking ahead, it is exciting to think what research Endeavour might make possible and the problems that it will help us to solve.’

An interactive guide to Endeavour is available to view via ​MS Sway.

(This report was the subject of a RESEARCHconnect Newsflash.)