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Financing Moves Diamond Light Source Upgrade Forward

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OXFORDSHIRE, England, Sept. 12, 2023 — A nearly £520 million ($648.3 million) investment in the U.K.’s national synchrotron, Diamond Light Source, will lead to the implementation of three new flagship beamlines, as well as upgrades to existing beamlines. The U.K. Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology, together with the biomedical charity Wellcome, approved the facility upgrade project, with an investment of 86% from the U.K. government and 14% from Wellcome.

The amount represents the same proportion that has funded Diamond Light Source since it was established in 2002. The £519.4M funding for Diamond-II was commemorated as a plaque. Left to right: Beth Thompson MBE Chief Strategy Officer at Wellcome, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology; the Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP; Executive Chair of STFC Professor Mark Thomson; and Sir Adrian Smith, Chair of the Board of Diamond. Courtesy of Diamond Light Source.
A nearly £520 million investment to the U.K.’s national synchrotron, Diamond Light Source, will lead to new flagship beamlines and upgrades to existing beamlines. From left, Beth Thompson, MBE chief strategy officer at Wellcome; Michelle Donelan, secretary of state for science, innovation, and technology; Mark Thomson, executive chair of the U.K. Science and Technology Facilities Council; and Sir Adrian Smith, chair of the board of Diamond. Courtesy of Diamond Light Source.

The multiyear Diamond-II upgrade, which is part of the full Diamond Light Source upgrade program, will include an 18-month “dark period” when all beams will be inactive, followed by a period to fully launch the new facility with three new flagship beamlines and major upgrades to many other beamlines. In addition to the Diamond-II initiative, the umbrella program will also cover new equipment to replace the synchrotron machine, enabling it to generate brighter light, and new computing hardware and software.

“Progress in accelerator technology means Diamond-II will offer the scientific community in academia and industry the opportunity to exploit much brighter beams and an increased coherence over a large energy range on all our beamlines plus additional beamlines,” said Sir Adrian Smith, chair of the board of Diamond Light Source and president of the Royal Society. Further, the Diamond Light Source funding announcement said, the upgrade is expected to open pathways for materials research and accelerating drug development, as well as real-time insights into processes such as advanced manufacturing and the performance of next-generation batteries.

According to Smith, the full upgrade is due to be delivered by 2030. The financing follows UK Research and Innovation’s initial investment of £81.5 million toward Diamond-II last year.
Sep 2023
A device that uses superconducting magnets to bend or accelerate charged particles. It can be used to etch very fine high-density patterns on integrated circuits.
BusinessfundinginvestmentWellcomeSoftwareEuropesynchrotronlasersupgradeDiamond Light SourceDiamond -IIUKRI

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