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What is EFINION?

European Forum for Innovative applications of Nuclear ION beams and tools

Complementary to ion beams, various nuclear-physics instruments and tools, such as gamma-ray tracking detectors and ultra-fast electronics, which were initially developed by nuclear physicists to understand nature at the femto-scale, have been adopted by other disciplines to improve our everyday lives. In particular, various imaging techniques employed in nuclear medicine, are primarily based on detectors and algorithms designed for fundamental nuclear-physics research.

ENSAR includes many laboratories and research groups with key contributions to the development of applications resulted from interdisciplinary research with medical doctors, biologists, geologists, archaeologists, curators etc. As first to mention is GSI, Darmstadt, Germany, with key developments of heavy-ion beams for tumour treatment that have been adopted by the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, where patients are now treated on a routine-basis. An additional example is the Radiation Effects Facility (RADEF) of the Cyclotron Laboratory of the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Based on the knowledge acquired from the laboratory’s technical and scientific programmes, RADEF provides different high-tech services including testing of space-mission hardware for the European Space Agency, analyses for national paper and wood industries and many others. GANIL is finally a bright example of a research infrastructure hosting activities of important socioeconomic impact. GANIL has been one of the founding members of the so-called “Normandie Incubation”, a structure intended to facilitate the creation of high-tech and innovating companies relying on research laboratories. Based on the scientific and technical expertise of its staff, GANIL acts as a relay, enhancing the transfer of its teams' competencies in large project management and quality control to industrial companies.

The potential of ENSAR member institutions for multidisciplinary research related to problems of modern society is not exhausted but expected to increase considerably in the coming years because of the recent achievements in the production of intense radioactive ion-beams, the construction of advanced radiation detectors from new materials, and the developments of very sophisticated simulation tools and microscopic models with increased predictive capability for many nuclear properties. This potential motivated EFINION with following objectives:
• Compilation and coordination of existing and future applications of socioeconomic impact stemming from ENSAR
• Identification of application-oriented synergies within ENSAR groups as well as between ENSAR and interested companies
• Creation of self-contained links beyond ENSAR between researchers and end-users, and
• Dissemination of multidisciplinary application-oriented research to the scientific community, the public and, especially, the policy makers.

EFINION benefits not only the participating institutions but all ENSAR members, including the associated ones: Through invitations to attend the EFINION collaboration meetings and the associated dissemination events, the opportunity will be given to many ENSAR members to present their application-oriented research activities and new ideas, which will subsequently be documented accordingly. EFINION will act as a “forum” for establishing collaborations between ENSAR groups and preparing joint projects of ENSAR laboratories and high-tech companies interested in end-user applications. Through the promotion of the research capabilities of the ENSAR’s TNA facilities to other disciplines, such as atomic physics, biophysics, material science etc., the number of new users of these facilities will be increased. Special emphasis will be given to the research opportunities arising from the use of intense radioactive beams that are gradually becoming available in some
ENSAR TNA facilities.