10 March 2022

BigScience@LTU 2022 spotlights collaboration between academia and research facilities

At this year’s BigScience@LTU, arranged at Luleå University of Technology, researchers and decision-makers discussed how LTU can both benefit from and contribute to Big Science facilities in Sweden and the rest of the world.

”Collaboration with CERN” presented by Patrik Fernberg.

Anna Hall, Director Big Science Sweden, opened BigScience@LTU by placing Sweden on the map as an important Big Science nation.

“It’s pleasing to see so many decision-makers and researchers from LTU here,” she said. “Academia has an important role to play in research that drives innovation and generates business for Sweden.”

Presentations at the event: “How we work with research infrastructures at LTU” (Prof. Pär Weihed), “Collaboration with CERN” (Prof. Patrik Fernberg), and “Establishing contacts with large research facilities” (Prof. George Nikolakopoulos).

Participating speakers:

  • Anna Hall, Programme Director, Big Science Sweden
  • Pär Weihed, Pro Vice-Chancellor, LTU
  • Patrik Fernberg, Materials Science, LTU
  • George Nikolakopoulos, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, LTU
  • Ekaterina Osipova, Research Advisor, LTU, and Big Science Sweden
  • Lars-Åke Isaksson, Business Development Officer, LTU Business and Big Science Sweden
  • Adam Wikström, Business Development Officer, LTU Business and Big Science Sweden

Not just beam time – academia contributes to development of the facilities

Adam Wikström sees BigScience@LTU as an ideal forum for sharing knowledge about what opportunities are available for researchers.

“Many people focus on the available beam time,” he explained, “But here we could show that another important area is to deliver the results of research and contribute to development of the facilities.”

Existing collaborations between LTU and research facilities

A project run in collaboration with CERN is examining how robots can be used to access areas with high levels of radioactivity. Another collaboration is a pilot study on the use of AI/VR to safely manage radioactive components in a hot cell. This study was initiated by a challenge identified by FAIR/GSI at a Big Science Sweden AIMday.

Areas of strength

BigScience@LTU concluded with a workshop that identified some of LTU’s most important areas of strength within Big Science. High on the list were AI and vast quantities of data, materials science and experimental characterisation of materials, space technology, and the green transition.

Suggestions on how to increase collaboration

Another discussion focused on how to increase collaboration. Suggestions included a proactive approach, more knowledge about the facilities, collaboration platforms, in-depth workshops, realising the potential of the facilities, and Big Science cases with our industrial partners.

BigScience@ is an event at which the benefits of collaboration between academia and Big Science research organisations are discussed and defined.