Work Package 3 - Synergy of Advanced Light Sources

EUCALL focuses on the overlap between accelerator-based and laser-based light sources. It established a sustained collaboration with the aim of harmonizing and optimizing the landscape of advanced light sources. The development of such connections will benefit the scientific users of these facilities through better and more efficient services.

Building on input from users, EUCALL advised how advanced light sources could better suit the needs of the user community at large. EUCALL analyzed the suite of instrumentation at the European advanced light source facilities and provides recommendations for their individual and joint development.

Analyzing the advanced light source landscape

EUCALL compiled detailed information about 22 characteristics at 121 different experiment setups at 17 advanced light sources across Europe. This data collection includes information regarding the properties of the light generated, the types of experimental techniques employed, and the properties of associated technical infrastructure such as optical lasers and sample delivery systems. The advanced light source experts involved in EUCALL performed a comprehensive analysis of these data and developed recommendations for optimal use of these facilities, with regard to scientific and user needs. These recommendations include maintaining a varied range of instruments in order to support a broad scope of scientific applications, even providing a certain level of overlapping technologies at the various advanced light sources to increase their availability; encouraging experimental campaigns that make use of complementary measurements at neighbouring advanced light source facilities; or developing FEL and optical laser instrumentation such as to reach the stability, operational performance, and versatility of synchrotron instruments. Additionally, it is recommended that, as technologies for miniaturizing advanced light sources develop, table-top or local laboratory X-ray setups be built and used for preparatory investigations, thereby better preparing experiments at large-scale advanced light sources and more efficiently using these light sources.

Enhanced availability of information via Wayforlight

The collected landscape data were considered to be very useful for users. EUCALL therefore investigated ways to make this catalogue of properties publicly available in such a way that it could be accessible beyond the project’s timespan. The information was incorporated into the Wayforlight portal (, a platform for European accelerator-based light sources. Wayforlight was created under the EU project CALIPSO, and it is further developed under the Horizon 2020 project CALIPSOplus. The portal maintains a searchable public database of instrumentation at synchrotron and FEL facilities. Using Wayforlight, scientists can find out which facilities might be most suitable for their measurements by comparing the instrumentation available at each. The EUCALL landscape dataset integrated the laser-driven advanced light sources into Wayforlight for the first time. The newly augmented Wayforlight database became publicly available in September 2018. Users arenow be able to explore the database and directly compare instrumentation at a much larger number of facilities at a greater depth, allowing them to develop more elaborate comparative and repeat experiments at various facilities.

Enhancing the innovation potential of advanced light sources

In order to better understand how the innovation potential of advanced light sources in Europe could be developed, EUCALL studied and analyzed the technology transfer policies of 14 different light sources in Europe, as well as in the USA and Japan. From this, EUCALL has developed a set of best practices especially useful for new and recently commissioned advanced light sources in defining their technology transfer policies.

It is recommended that advanced light sources carefully evaluate technological and scientific developments with respect to their possible marketability, and that they also train researchers from an early stage to recognize which inventions can or should be protected and which can be directly published. It is also suggested to avoid establishing too many expensive patents, especially if these are to be later abandoned. Advanced light sources are recommended to dedicate staff to perform proprietary research projects for commercial users, while also engaging with external mediator companies to reduce the requirements on facility scientists performing, analyzing, and reporting commercial measurements.

Innovation networks
EUCALL proposes a platform for networking and cooperation between the light source facilities’ innovation offices. Such a network would be used to initiate new collaborations, support the introduction of a new series of common key performance indicators for measuring the economic impact of light sources, help develop common technology transfer policies for multiple light sources, establish an EU-wide platform for disseminating patents and spinoffs, and establish links to former light source scientists who now work in industry as ambassadors for technology transfer at light source facilities

Training programmes
Generally, researchers work by developing technologies to further their studies and publishing the results. However, having at least a basic understanding of innovation and marketing practices is becoming a part of the scientific process as well. EUCALL recommends that research infrastructures train young scientists in innovation processes. Researchers receiving such training can identify intellectual property that is appropriate for protection, take steps in protecting it, and make moves to commercialization. This training involves getting the scientists acquainted with how and when to engage their technology transfer offices while performing research

WP3 Deliverables:

Deliverable 3.1 - SB terms of references (The terms of reference of the Synergy Board will define roles and actions of the Synergy Board and its members) / Submitted 27 April 2016


Deliverable 3.2 - Synergy and innovation potential of EUCALL (Report describing synergy and Innovation potential of the EUCALL Partner facilities) / Submitted 31 March 2018


Deliverable 3.3 - Optimum use of advanced light sources: challenges and potential (Report summarizing the challenges and the potential for an optimized use of the advanced light source facilities) / Submitted September 2018


Deliverable 3.4 - Joint foresight topics for lasers and FELs in Europe (Report summarizing the targeted activities identified as foresight topics) / Submitted September 2018