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Major investment in European XFEL user consortium


The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC), and the Wellcome Trust, all based in the United Kingdom, will contribute 5.64 M£ (about 7 M€) towards a user consortium at the European XFEL. Over five years between 2014 and 2019, the funding will help to construct and use the Serial Femtosecond Crystallography end station (SFX), which is dedicated to high-throughput nanocrystallography and sample screening. A hub for scientists who wish to use SFX will also be established at the Diamond Light Source in Oxfordshire to train and prepare UK researchers.

SFX will form an integral part of the Single Particles, Clusters, and Biomolecules (SPB) scientific instrument at the European XFEL. SFX will use the X-ray free-electron laser beam transmitted through the SPB end-station, allowing simultaneous measurements at both stations. The proposal is led by DESY and includes contributions and partners from the UK, Germany, Sweden, Slovakia, Australia, and the United States.

"On behalf of European XFEL and the member countries, I would like to thank the UK research funders and scientists for this significant contribution to the SFX User Consortium", European XFEL Managing Director Massimo Altarelli said. "This will further advance the European XFEL's outstanding opportunities in the field of biomolecular imaging and also strengthen cooperation between British and other international researchers in one of the exciting new research areas opened up by our facility."

Source: European XFEL GmbH