The Neutron Science Center of the Comprehensive Research Organization of Science and Society (CROSS) is an organization selected as a registered institution promoting use of facilities by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The center promotes the use of the Materials and Life Science Experimental Facility (J-PARC MLF), the specified neutron beam facility. Following the second phase which started in 2016, we launched the third phase last April with the following five goals.
1. to acquire new users and expand into new application fields by promoting inter-organizational collaboration,
2. effective use of the 1 MW high-intensity neutron beam and improvement of beamtime utilization efficiency,
3. introduction of new performance indicators and rapid dissemination of outstanding results,
4. to become a world-class quantum beam facility, bringing researchers from around the world to the facility, and
5. to foster human resources who will contribute to the development of neutron science.
In FY2022, while restrictions on use due to COVID-19 were eased, the rising cost of electricity forced us to shorten the hours of operation for use. Fortunately, thanks to the supplementary budget, we were able to rescue many proposals and implement their experiments . Even in such difficult circumstances , MLF’s outcomes have steadily increased both in quality and quantity, which were supported by rigorous proposal selection, careful user support, accurate information analysis and support, easy-to-understand seminars and workshops, promotion of industrial applications and so on.
Now, FY2023 will be a year of great breakthrough for CROSS. We will be entrusted with the operation, maintenance, and user support of two Ibaraki Prefecture beamlines (BLs), i.e., iBIX and iMATERIA, and we will create a new center, “Neutron Industrial Application Promotion Center”, to help promote prefectural neutron projects together with new members. In addition to the seven Public BLs that the CROSS Neutron Science and Technology Center has already been in charge of, CROSS will be in charge of nine of the 21 beamlines currently operated at MLF, and a great synergy between the Public BLs and the Prefectural BL (Contract BL) as well as other BLs is expected to be realized. At the same time, our roles and responsibilities at the MLF will become even greater than before.
In FY2023, CROSS expects to make significant progress in acquiring new users and expanding into new application fields through J-PARC and JRR-3’s common platform, J-JOIN (J-Joint Office for Innovation), the Quantum Beam Analysis Alliance, and the Ibaraki Science and Technology Promotion Foundation. In FY2023, many neutron-related international conferences are coming up, and CROSS will play a part in the activities of MLF, a world-class quantum beam facility, by taking these activities into consideration. As a registered facility promotion organization, the Neutron Science and Technology Center will continue to faithfully fulfill its social responsibilities as before. We ask for the understanding and support of our users and the community at large.