Valorisation at DIFFER
The FOM Institute DIFFER is very active in the field of industrial collaboration, the transfer of scientific results to the public domain and the application as new technology, i.e. valorisation.
As a first part of the valorisation activities of DIFFER the knowledge consortium ITER-NL can be mentioned. This consortium connects the Dutch scientific world and the Dutch industry for the building and operation of the fusion reactor ITER. The best example of the ITER-NL originated valorisation activities is the Remote Handling Study Center that started its activities in Rijnhuizen during 2011 in cooperation with Heemskerk Innovative Technologies. This is the place to have the newly developed compnents for ITER simulated in virtual reality in order to test their maintenace aspects remotely by robot arms. The Study Centre is unique in the world where it concerns remote controllability and it already succeeded in aquiring contracts with the ITER organisation and with the Japanese contributors to ITER.
The Remote-Handling Study Centre at the atticof the castle Rijnhuizen. A cooperation of DIFFER and HIT (Heemskerk Innovative Technologies) under the umbrella of ITER-NL.
Furthermore, within the ITER-NL organisation prototype plasma diagnostics for ITER were developed and build for testing purposes in cooperation with companies like Heeze Mechanics, Dutch Space and Nedinsco.
Within DIFFER a number of on-going valorisation activities take place. In 2010 started the IPP (Industrial Partnership Programme CP3E with ASML and Carl Zeiss in the area of multi-layer optics for extreme UV-photolithografphy. It is worth mentioning that the FOM group EUV Lab is located inside the ASML premises in Veldhoven. The main objective of the group is the testing of the developed multi-layer optics in the highle demanding environment of a wafer stepper.
The research department Plasma-Wall Interaction has a cooperation with the Dutch company Element Six on advanced highly shock-absorbing materials aiming at fusion and other applications like air- and space research. Cooperation projects with the Dutch company Urenco Stable Isotopes lead to new technics to machine W. Tungsten is the main candidate material for the divertor of ITER.
Finally, DIFFER is hosting the ITER Industrial Liaison Officer (ILO) Toon Verhoeven, the contact person between the nuclear fusion research comunity and the Dutch Industry. One of his major duties is to help the companies in acquiring contracts with F4E and ITER. This work is highly coordinated within ITER-NL. One of the tools is the company browser were all the expertise of interested companies are matched with the procurement packages of ITER. Dutch companies are informed of upcoming interesting tender actions by means of information days and a yearly Industry Day. One other task of the ILO is to represent the Dutch companies during scientific conferences and other events. This is usually done by means of a booth where information is available of all the relevant Dutch companies. Very recently the ITER-NL ILO took, together with colleague ILO's from other Big-Science projects, the initiative to come to one entry point for all Big Sciences for the Dutch high-tech companies. This initiative was very much welcomed by NWO and the ministeries of education (OCW) and economy (EL&I) and the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (known as VNO-NCW).
In addition, extra funds were obtained from FOM and NWO for several promising valorisation projects, also see the annual report. PhD students at DIFFER take part in valorisation courses, and in weekly seminars, attention is paid to the application perspectives of research.
The nanolayer Surfaces & Interfaces (nSI) department is involved in two of the largest Industrial Partnership Programs (IPP’s) and several other industrial collaboration projects for material science. It enables the special type of multilayer optics at the heart of new generations of photolithography for the fabrication of integrated circuits. The research, partially funded by international industry, including ASML and Carl Zeiss SMT AG, results in an annual two patents on average, next to the scientific publications.
The Fusion Physics department delivers an important scientific and technical contribution to the buildup of the international fusion experiment ITER. This experiment, currently being built in southern France, will be instrumental to delivering sustainable energy via commercial nuclear fusion. Via ITER-NL, contacts are established with over 200 Dutch companies, of which several dozen are involved in the development of essential components. DIFFER actively participates in the international ITER project via Fusion for Energy (F4E) and supplies the Dutch Industrial Liaison Officer.
The Plasma Surface Interaction (PSI) department aims to develop and test potential ITER wall materials and mock-ups with Magnum-PSI, currently being build at DIFFER. Unique in the world, Magnum-PSI will contribute to the development of materials for the fusion reactor and offer new experimental possibilities for plasma-surface interaction research. This is part of the TEC collaboration and in the framework of EURATOM. Collaboration with nSI for surface treatment and analysis will continue to expand, and external parties can request use of the facility.
Within the Generation and Utilization of TeraHertz radiation (GUTHz) department, contacts are established with numerous international institutions that employ the free electron laser FELIX, stationed at DIFFER, to carry out biomedical, -chemical, and -physical research in particular. As such, processes at the origin of molecular motion in the molecular motor F0F1-ATPase are being studied. Molecular motors are increasingly being pursued for nanotechnological applications. The FELIX facility is open on a fee basis in the frame of an IPP for proprietary research by industry.
The free electron laser FELIX
FOM valorisation prize
In 2009, dr. Tim Tsarfati already won the FOM valorisation chapter prize for his thesis
A [dot] G [dot] A [dot] Verhoeven [te] differ [dot] nl , +31 (0)6 5340 2853