ISIS Lifetime Impact Report

Independent impact study of ISIS - proves the facility provides significant socio-economic benefits for the UK

ISIS infographic

ISIS infographic
(Credit: STFC)

The ISIS Lifetime Impact Study is an independent, in-depth review of the ISIS neutron and muon source, which outlines the wide range of economic and social impacts of the facility. This ambitious and far-reaching evaluation was commissioned as a result of recommendations from the BEIS “Big Science and Innovation Report”. The ISIS Lifetime Impact Study by Technopolis, has estimated the economic impact of ISIS over 30 years. It also characterised the wider impacts under research, innovation and skills that have already been delivered and those predicted to occur up to 2030. The key statistics are shown in the infographic (click image for full page pdf).

From the outset, ISIS has been one of the most advanced spallation neutron sources in the world, and has demonstrated to the global scientific community the feasibility and benefits of using a spallation source for the production of neutrons for science. Many of the independent conclusions of this report are directly relevant to the Governments Industry Strategy, announced in January 2017. For example;

  • Investing in science, research and innovation: ISIS research is undertaken in a wide variety of subjects including Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science, Geology, Engineering and Biology. ISIS supports the development of technologies based on new materials, advanced manufacturing and bioengineering, as well as helping to address the big challenges we face such as energy generation, antibiotic resistance and global warming.
     
  • Delivering affordable energy and clean growth: For example, ISIS was used by EDF Energy to predict the lifetime of welds and the knowledge gained enabled the life extensions of 15 nuclear reactors, saving the company £3 billion in decommissioning costs. Benefits included providing low carbon energy to two million homes, £650 million a year in contracts for mostly UK-based businesses to carry out the repair work, and the safeguarding of 2,000 jobs in the nuclear power industry.
     
  • Encouraging trade and inward investment: Between 1987 and 2009, ISIS received £56 million in international contributions, some 14% of total income, underlining the attraction of the facility and the UK for international researchers.  With its tradition of innovation and leadership in technical developments, ISIS has played a critical role in demonstrating the feasibility and benefits of spallation sources. 
     
  • Cultivating world-leading sectors: ISIS has long-established industrial links with more than 100 companies including household names such as Rolls-Royce, Unilever, Airbus and BP. Over the past 30 years, UK and global industries have benefited directly with their research at ISIS supporting advances in a wide range of products. Industrial products whose development has been supported include catalysts, aeroplane components, shampoos and lubricants.
     
  • Developing skills: ISIS nurtures scientific talent in the UK, the value of which is estimated to be £30 million to the UK economy.  ISIS provides ‘on-the-job’ training to 500-800 early career researchers each year, who go on to work in academia and industry.  ISIS staff and users also often work closely with industry during their career and industry also benefits directly from knowledge exchange and collaboration activities.

As described by Technopolis in their report;

“ISIS has created substantial long-term impact. From the original vision over 30 years ago, ISIS has become one of the UK’s major scientific achievements. As the world’s leading pulsed neutron and muon source, ISIS has delivered major social and economic benefit for the UK and other economies.”

For more information please read the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source Lifetime Impact Report summary and/or the full report. For more information or any questions you may have on this study, please contact Jennifer Moloney, STFC Impact Evaluation Programme Manager or Sara Fletcher, ISIS Impact Manager.

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000