What is CROSS

What is CROSS

Up until now, the Comprehensive Research Organization for Science and Society (CROSS) has concentrated its activities mainly in the Tsukuba area. Tokai is located in the same regional government area as Tsukuba (Ibaraki Prefecture) and has a long history in atomic energy research and development. Tokai is also a center for science and technology. In particular, Tokai boasts J-PARC – the Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex – construction of which began in 2001 and was completed in 2008. The product of a collaboration between the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), J-PARC is an iconic symbol of the benefits and advantages that can derive from of inter-agency cooperation.

Recognizing an opportunity to expand its activities beyond the Tsukuba area, the CROSS-Tokai office was established in April 2010. The office is located in the Ibaraki Quantum Beam Research Centre (IQBRC) building in Tokai Village.

While conducting a one-year survey of the utilization of neutron and other quantum beams, the CROSS-Tokai office, together with the CROSS Head Office in Tsuchiura, prepared an application to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) to be appointed as the “Registered Institution for Facility Use Promotion” for the public-access neutron beam facilities at J-PARC. This application was submitted in February 2011 and the appointment of CROSS-Tokai to the role was confirmed the following month. Accordingly, CROSS-Tokai commenced its activities as the “Registered Institution for Facility Use Promotion” (RI) on the 1st of April, 2011.

In accordance with the basic policy and applicable rules of the relevant legislation, CROSS-Tokai will undertake the following activities at the public neutron beam facilities at J-PARC:

  1. Establish and facilitate the functions of the Proposal Selection Committee
  2. Manage the “Call for Proposals” and proposal selection process for the public beamlines
  3. Collect and manage the assessment of applications to build contract beamlines
  4. Provide user support on the public beamlines
  5. Provide information and specialist advice to facility users
  6. Guarantee a safe working environment for facility users and staff
  7. Manage and secure operational information
  8. Coordinate and cooperate with JAEA, KEK and J-PARC
  9. Coordinate and cooperate with related quantum beam facilities (domestic and international) and local authorities

In addition, CROSS-Tokai will prepare every year a “Facility Use Promotion Plan” that reflects the changing circumstances at the facility. The plan will be submitted to MEXT at the start of each fiscal year for approval and a report that describes progress towards the goals of the plan similarly submitted at year’s end.

The policies set out in the relevant legislation are, naturally, subject to variation in response to changing national and international circumstances. The most recent publication of the basic policy (February 2011) requires a level of cooperation between JAEA, KEK and CROSS-Tokai that will yield quality research results while maintaining the support and confidence of the Japanese people. In addition, the following items are specifically required by the policy:

  1. Organizational Mission
    To establish a center of excellence based on world’s-best practice with competencies that include:
    • User services and operations
    • Excellence in research
    • Staff training and development
    • Publicizing and promotion of science outcomes
    • Strengthening international competitiveness
  2. Research using the Facilities
    Key activities include:
    • Establish and manage a fair and transparent proposal selection
    • Take due heed of the opinions of the Proposal Selection Committee
    • Deliver appropriate user support
    • Promote leading-edge research and distribute related information
    • Protect intellectual property and distribute public IP via symposiums and online media
    • Proactively promote international symposiums and present CROSS-Tokai activities in these forums
    • Strengthen the research capabilities of CROSS-Tokai
  3. Public Beamline Services and the Establishment of Contract Beamlines
    • The facility owners will be responsive to user demands
    • CROSS-Tokai to provide coordinated and systematic public beamline services that reflect local and international trends
    • Select and assess contract beamline proposals in close cooperation with the government and facility owners within an equitable selection framework
  4. Operation of Public Beamlines and Utilization of Contract Beamlines
    Key activities include:
    • User-focused facility use promotion (unified and simplified access and application systems, user cultivation and responsiveness, new ways of user service delivery)
    • The facility owner will operate and maintain the combined neutron beam facilities in an effective holistic manner; manage the safety of the whole facility; and ensure that an appropriate and sufficient amount of beamtime is made available to users.
  5. Other Requirements
    • Collaboration between JAEA, KEK and CROSS-Tokai
    • Cooperation with local authorities
      • Support and promotion of science and technology related activity in the local area
      • Strengthening Industry-Academia collaboration
    • Appropriate division of roles and collaboration with other quantum beam facilities

In accordance with these basic policies, CROSS-Tokai is committed to operating in close collaboration with JAEA and KEK while building research cooperation and personal interactions with related facilities, local and international, and the wider community.