The programme’s objectives are to increase the number of Nordic-region researchers skilled at utilising neutrons in scientific analysis, as well as raise the competency level regarding neutron scattering, particularly among younger researchers and other groups without extensive experience in this field. The new programme is designed to support long-term use of the European Spallation Source (ESS) among the Nordic countries. The ESS is one of the priority European Research Infrastructures identified by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI).
The joint Nordic programme for neutron research is being established to address the need for competence-building in this field, as identified by research funding agencies in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
A bibliometric report drawn up by the University of Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr Institute has mapped usage and needs among the Nordic research community in its report “Nordic Neutron Scattering Communities 2009‒2013”. The report finds there is a need for greater expertise and the potential to expand cooperation in the field in three of the countries, pointing out that:
There is sufficiently high scientific quality and volume to start up a programme.
Neutron research is given priority in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
Access to the ESS is considered important for the development of the Nordic research community and its international collaboration.
The Programme Committee comprises representatives from the participating funding organisations:
- Fredrik Melander, Science Village Scandinavia, Lund, Sweden; chair
- Hanifeh Khayyeri, Senior Research Officer, Swedish Research Council; member
- Aase Marie Hundere, Special Adviser, the Research Council of Norway; member
- Joakim Amorim, Research Programmes Manager, Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research; member
- Morten Scharff, Chief Advisor, Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education, Denmark; member
The Programme Committee may seek scientific consultation from a reference group consisting of representatives of the Danish Neutron Scattering Society (DANSSK), the Norwegian Neutron Scattering Association (NoNSA), the Swedish Neutron Scattering Society (SNSS) and European Spallation Source Eric (ESS).
The programme’s budget amounts to roughly NOK 65 million. NordForsk provides one-third of the funding from the outset, with the three participating countries jointly providing two-thirds.