What is HI-ACTS about?
Whether in medical technology, the development of new smart materials, or the production of high-performance semiconductors or energy technology - accelerator-based technologies offer enormous advantages in all these business areas that are highly relevant for the future of our society. Microscopy with brilliant X-ray light sources, for example, provides atomically precise insights into how materials or processes must be designed to function optimally. Outside the scientific community, however, for which these elaborate research facilities were developed, these advantages have hardly been exploited to date. Yet there is an enormous need in industry to examine its own materials, products and production processes with similar precision and thus to be able to design, manufacture or test them for quality more quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.
For the Hi-ACTS innovation platform, the German Electron Synchrotron DESY as coordinator, the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), and the Helmholtz Zentrum Hereon, have joined forces to more closely connect research centers among themselves and, in addition, the researching industry. Together, the participants want to make more effective use of the existing accelerator infrastructure and develop new facilities that are even better adapted to the needs of industry. For example, they want to establish compact accelerators that can be used in a decentralized manner to significantly accelerate the development of drugs and make them more cost-effective, or to use them for modern cancer therapies. In collaboration with industrial partners, they want to tackle projects that individual companies cannot handle or that are simply too risky for private investment.
Overall, the platform is intended to strengthen Germany as a business location and accelerate innovation breakthroughs. Its development is being funded within the framework of the Helmholtz Association's "Innovation Platforms" funding line with a total of 13.2 million euros over a period of three years. However, it will also operate beyond this period and grow sustainably through the commitment of companies in the network.
Hereon in HI-ACTS
As part of its Institute for Materials Research, Hereon operates a central access platform (GEMS) that provides a globally unique infrastructure for complementary research with photons and neutrons. GEMS will contribute the technical infrastructure at its instruments, in particular the diffraction and tomography beamlines at the PETRA III synchrotron light source (DESY), as well as the materials science expertise of the Institute for Materials Research to the project. With HI-ACTS, Hereon will be able to further develop its services for industrial users. This will be done in close exchange with current and future users. The inclusion of new measures to standardize the commercial service portfolio is of great value. Based on the ongoing EU project EASI-STRESS, which aims to standardize residual stress analysis in large-scale plants, specific findings will be incorporated into the Hi-ACTS context.
Use Case Initiatives - Call for proposals 2023
Helmholtz Innovation Platform for Accelerator-based Technologies and Solutions - HI-ACTS - overall aim is to make accelerator-based technology solutions largely available to users in industry and clinics. It will improve industrial access to and use of existing and novel accelerators developed by the Helmholtz Association. Thus, HI-ACTS aims to provide a variety of solutions, some of which could already be useable at relatively short notice, while others will need more time and can only work in the long run. Transforming accelerators into an integral part of R&D, product development, quality analysis or into products themselves - as easily accessible tools for non-specialists - will drive the introduction of such into value and production chains.
List of possible (exemplarily) initiatives that are able to fund:
· improve technical set-ups or analytical performance of accelerator-based technologies or methods to ease industrial access or use (e.g. time, reliability, costs)
· address a specific high potential application in a certain branch (e.g. medtech, pharma, semiconductor, cross cutting fields such as new sustainable materials)
· boost the development of new or further development of existing accelerator concepts or analytical methods targeting industry (maintenance-efficiency, package solutions)
· that improve current service portfolios or develop new service solutions (e.g. smart analysis and evaluation of experimental data)
· broaden knowledge for “non-accelerator-specialised users” and encourage interaction between industry & science (i.e. communication, exchange, training, organizational processes, standardization, use of new ideation tools such as hackathon formats)
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