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Developing STFC’s Science and Technology strategy

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  1. Developing STFC’s Science and Technology strategy John Womersley Director, Science and Technology Strategy November 2007

  2. Outline • Introduction to STFC’s Science Strategy processes • UK Large facilities roadmap and consultation • Technology Strategy and Gateway Centres • Comprehensive Spending Review 2007

  3. Who are we? • The Council was created on April 1, 2007 • It is responsible for • fundamental research in particle physics, nuclear physics, astronomy, space • major UK facilities for the physical and life sciences • synchrotrons, light sources, lasers, neutrons • national laboratories at RAL, Daresbury, UKATC • international science projects • CERN, ESO, ESA, ILL, ESRF… • Over 2000 staff and an annual budget of over £700M

  4. The Science we Address Some examples • Why is there a universe? • What is the origin of mass? • Was there ever life on Mars? • How are the chemical elements created? • How can we design better treatments for cancer? • How do cells work? • How can we create new materials to store energy?

  5. Origins understanding our place in the universe Futures solutions for society and the planet Competencies technology and facilities Collaboration universities, industry, other nations

  6. World Class Science Fund the best research, working for the UK as a whole Adventurousnot “solid” Doing new thingsnot doing the same thing with smaller errors Influencing a projectnot tagging along Focused on excellencenot make sure we are doing a bit of everything

  7. Science strategy We are currently engaged in the process of • Identifying and prioritising the scientific opportunities likely to arise within the next fifteen years or so, understanding the scientific potential, the competitive context, the technologies required for their success and an estimate of the cost • Prioritising short to medium-term investment projects in the context of funds available • Carrying out a programmatic review of current projects and programmes

  8. The strategy must • Provide the guidebook for the council’s detailed investment plan Which means it must • Connect with our research communities and the other research councils • Be clearly communicated and explained to staff and stakeholders • Be an international strategy • Be a people strategy, nurturing our core competencies and skills • Integrate both science and technology • Connect with plans for to develop the Harwell and Daresbury sites as science and innovation campuses

  9. In tres partes divisa est… Facilities In-house expertise Science Strategy Team Science Committees Peer Review

  10. Committees and peer review Council Science Board Science Committees PPAN1 PALS2 AGP PPRP … ASTAB GrantsPanels PPGP Projects PeerReview Panel(s) Accelerator Science and Technology Advisory Board NPGP 1 Particle Physics, Astronomy and Nuclear Physics 2 Physical and Life Sciences

  11. STFC Science Board • Professor Sir Peter Knight, Imperial College (chair) • Professor Jenny Thomas, UCL (deputy chair) • Professor Gabriel Aeppli, London Centre for Nanotechnology • Professor John Ellis, CERN • Professor Monica Grady, Open University • Professor Matt Grifffin, University of Cardiff • Professor Douglas Kell, University of Manchester • Professor Tony Ryan, University of Sheffield

  12. PPAN science committee • Professor Walter Gear, Cardiff (chair) • Dr. Jordan Nash, IC/CERN (deputy chair) • Dr. David Barnes, Aberystwyth • Dr. Iain Bertram, Lancaster • Professor Michael Bode, LJMU • Professor Jonathan Butterworth, UCL • Professor Yvonne Elsworth, Birmingham • Professor Brian Fulton, York • Professor Ruth Gregory, Durham • Professor Sheila Rowan, Glasgow

  13. PALS science committee • Professor Tim Wess, Cardiff (chair) • Professor Chick Wilson, Glasgow (deputy Chair) • Dr. Katherine Brown, Imperial College • Professor Carole Goble, Manchester • Professor Michael Gunn, Birmingham • Professor Ken McKendrick, Herriott-Watt • Professor Steven Rose, Imperial College • Professor Phil Withers, Manchester • Professor Paul Attfield, Edinburgh • (vacancy)

  14. Links to communities • An essential component • Role was played in the past by PPARC’s advisory panels, with varying degree of success • PPAN and PALS committees have been charged to come up with proposed mechanisms • Will try to make use of existing professional societies and user groups where appropriate • In the meantime, please feel you can talk to us or to the committee members

  15. Saying no • Resources are limited • We will need to say “no” to good science • This is a real shame • but we can’t borrow (or print) money And if we’re going to say “no” • Best to say “no” sooner • Best to say “no” to whole projects

  16. Proteins or protons? • How to compare projects in very different areas? • Viki Weisskopf’s diagram [Physics Today, May 1967] • Good proposals lie at (or beyond) the boundary • Goal is to push the boundary upwards and to the right Intrinsic interest or Science Impact Longer term payoff 1 2 4 3 External impact Short term payoff

  17. Letter to The Times, August 27, 2007 Sir, Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, says “the best science more and more depends on international collaborations. No single nation can stand alone successfully in its science policy.” (letters, August, 23). I couldn’t agree more. What I would disagree with is his assertion that UK policymakers are being driven by “short-term political concerns”. The Government fully recognises the importance of international collaboration on scientific research. In fact, recent figures show that nearly 40 per cent of UK scientific output over the past five years involved international collaboration – a 50 per cent increase compared with the previous five years. Britain has a proud tradition of excellence in science and we must ensure that continues. We need to be world class at both basic research and translating the outcomes of that research. However, there should be no suggestion that basic research will suffer as a result of the drive to achieve the more effective use of research for Britain. That the Government has doubled science spending in real terms in the last decade serves as testament to our commitment to scientific research. JOHN DENHAM Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills

  18. STFC criteria • Scientific impact and timeliness • Does it offer the potential for breakthroughs in its area? • Economic impact • Societal impact • Education, outreach, training/skills, public policy priorities • Level of UK leadership or UK impact • Breadth of community served • Risk • Match with the views of other research councils and communities • Coherence and synergy across programme • does it enhance and/or exploit existing facilities or subscriptions • does it exploit our unique capabilities and/or skills base • match to DSIC/HSIC campus developments • The European context, ESFRI… • The global context, US, India/China…

  19. Large Facilities Roadmap • Update on 2005 roadmap • To include any projects that we may wish to fund through the Large Facilities Capital Fund (as before) • But also to include major projects funded through the Council’s base level of support, subscriptions etc.  A broad view of research infrastructures

  20. STFC Projects Diamond phase 3 Materials Innovation Institute Sapphire ISIS TS2 phase 3

  21. STFC Projects 4GLS ESRF upgrade Hartree Centre Computational Science

  22. STFC Projects HIPER ELI Future neutron sources: ESS/MW neutron source ILL 20/20 upgrade DIPOLE laser

  23. STFC Projects European ELT Next generation Gravitational wave observatory FAIR SKA

  24. STFC Projects International Linear Collider LHC upgrades Underground science Neutrinos, dark matter Neutrino factory

  25. How did we get this list? Drawn from • ESFRI roadmap • Roadmaps of the European particle physics, astronomy and particle astrophysics communities • PPARC and CCLRC roadmaps • Facility user communities, UK nuclear physics community

  26. Guiding principles • Facilities should match our core businesses and benefit from our technology or skills base • Should be “large” • i.e. capital contribution of order £25M or more • Should have significant UK community interest

  27. Community input • Roadmap consultation period started early November • The roadmap and invitation for input are at • Comments are solicited both on the projects in the draft roadmap and those that the community might wish to see added • Deadline is mid January, but sooner is better

  28. Large Facilities Capital Fund • UK government funding mechanism for large capital-intensive facilities • £100M/year • Research councils are to agree their priorities and present them to government by end of year • Financial flexibility is limited until ~ 2010, but the CSR07 settlement mentions the possibility of significant increase in the fund if the quality of projects merits it

  29. UK Light Source Review • International review committee to give strategic advice on future provision of light sources and high power lasers • Murray Gibson (ANL, Chair), Jerry Hastings (SLAC), Yves Petroff, Wolfgang Sandner (Max Born Inst.) • Met in London July 17-18 • Presentations from broad spectrum of the user community and from project proponents • Diamond and Sapphire • CLF and upgrade plans • XFEL and FLASH • ESRF and upgrade plans • 4GLS, ERLP and SRS • Thoughtful committee, very useful discussions

  30. Recommendations • In the Panel’s view in many respects the UK is in excellent shape: • a strong record in light source science; • a strong diverse research community • many innovative accelerator and detector concepts; • Diamond is demonstrating enormous potential; • The Panel expressed very serious reservations about the 4GLS and Sapphire projects as currently proposed • However the Panel clearly stated that if we harness our expertise in the field there is a real opportunity for the UK to develop a world-class facility and to propel us to European leadership

  31. Next Steps • We are not putting forward either 4GLS or Sapphire projects to the Large Facilities Capital Fund; instead, we are “pressing the reset button” • We are instituting a new project to deliver a proposal for a Next Light Source • Project needs to be focused on the key science drivers: start by identifying these science drivers and how to address them, in conjunction with the community • We want a proposal ready for consideration by late summer 2009 • We are taking this forward within a new Photon Sciences Department in STFC

  32. XFEL • Project “launched” on 5th June • This means DESY is now authorised to spend • XFEL GmbH to be set up by end of year • Our goal is to maximise our in-kind contributions within the £30M already allocated in LFCF • Pixel detector, streak camera…

  33. Technology strategy

  34. STFC’s facilities and science programmes drive the development of cutting edge technologies Sensors and instrumentation Advanced materials Computing Engineering and space technology STFC’s capabilities enabletechnology development by industry and HEI researchers Imaging Simulation and modelling Access to facilities Campuses as focal points for collaboration with industry and HEI’s STFC and Technology

  35. STFC spends > £20M per year on technology development Generates > £100M per year in industrial technology spending We plan to work with the Technology Strategy Board • to strengthen ties to industry • to apply our technology base to major challenges

  36. Strong relevance Some relevance * TSB technology theme areas Applications of STFC’s capabilities

  37. Technology Partnerships/Innovation platforms Imaging Centre Hartree Centre Materials Design Institute Detector systemscentre New Technology Gateway centres on campuses Applications of STFC’s capabilities Space technology centre Work with TSB - e.g. Innovation Platforms programme Expand technology partnerships programme

  38. Technology Gateway Centres • Joint Institute for Materials Design – integrating materials innovation with advanced characterization • Imaging Solutions Centre – transforming “facilities access” into “solutions access” • Detector Systems Centre - delivering advanced detector technology • Hartree Centre – a step-change in simulation and modelling capabilities for strategic research • Space centre – a new space centre for the UK • Serve as focal points for collaboration, linking laboratories, universities and industry • Technology Strategy Board, other RC’s and RDA’s

  39. Accelerators • Accelerator technology is a key enabler across a large fraction of our research • Particle and nuclear physics • Synchrotrons and free electron light sources • Neutron sources • Accelerator Science and Technology Advisory Board • set up by CCLRC, will continue to advise STFC • International membership, chair Steve Myers (CERN) • Gives advice on strategic direction • Meeting in October and December 2007 • Cockcroft and John Adams Institutes

  40. Comprehensive Spending Review 2007

  41. 2007 Spending Review • At its meeting on 2 November STFC Council considered its CSR07 settlement.  The settlement contained an increase for full economic cost and support for the costs associated with the closure of the SRS, otherwise it represented an essentially flat cash allocation. • While the settlement will enable the Council to pursue much of our planned programme, the costs of running the STFC will increase not just with inflation but also due to the increased costs of operating some new major facilities.  The consequence is that with other minor adjustments the STFC is looking at a deficit of about £80m in its existing programme over the CSR period.

  42. In moving forward the Council reaffirmed that its strategy will continue to be guided by four key principles which it believes are at the heart of its mission and the rationale for creating the Council. They are: • the highest quality science and technology • a healthy and vibrant university community • international impact and credibility • increased economic impact particularly through the development of the Harwell and Daresbury Science and Innovation Campuses

  43. Council also reaffirmed that a major restructuring of its activities is necessary • Given the settlement this process of restructuring will now be accelerated. Some tough decisions will have to be made and in some cases relatively quickly. The Council has asked the executive to come forward with detailed plans in consultation with its Science Board and the PALS and PPAN Committees. • Council recognises that the restructuring of our activities will impact on both our research community and our staff but believes it will put us on a stronger footing for the future. • We will aim to reach decisions and remove uncertainty as soon as is possible.

  44. At its meeting on November 21, Council considered such a plan • Details are presently embargoed • Some free advice • Fasten your seatbelts, turbulence ahead • Wait till you see the whole picture before reacting • When the wagons are circled, remember to shoot outwards

  45. Closing remarks

  46. Per ardua… • Our long-term ability to generate more support depends on more than just good science. We must also show that • we can plan • we can prioritise • we can deliver • we can stop things (even when they are good) • we can be imaginative • we can “do more” • we are relevant (economic impact, society, education…) This is what the Science and Technology Strategywill aim to do

  47. … ad astra • The future is not short of challenges • If they are to be addressed, we will need to harness • science • technology • innovation • and the enthusiasm and dedication of people like you More ambition, more excellence Let’s see just how good we can be

  48. Questions, comments? Your input is welcome: 01793 442622

  49. Keith Mason presentation to SUPA • We are ambitious to foster a new generation of research leaders who can increase our science impact • We are ambitious to increase substantially our R&D investment consistent with our strategy and priorities (the scale of this investment and rate of ramp-up will depend on CSR07) • We are looking for opportunities to base more European capability in the UK. • What is the best model for us to engage with Scottish universities, Scottish Enterprise and the SFC on the Knowledge Exchange agenda? Could a tripole form an element of such a model? UK ATC Daresbury Campus Dipole Campus Tripole? Harwell