In-Kind Review Committee Approves First Contract

ESS’s first In-Kind Contribution contract has been recommended to the Steering Committee for approval. The Estonian agreement is a significant first in a long line of agreements to come.
LUND — In June, the ESS In-Kind Review Committee (IKRC) recommended its first contract for approval to the ESS Steering Committee (STC), establishing a key pathway forward in the ESS Construction Phase. 
 
The agreement was submitted by ESS Neutron Scattering Systems (NSS) and the University of Tartu, Estonia, and will be classified as an Estonian In-Kind Contribution (IKC) to ESS. IKCs are essential to the collaborative design and construction effort at the heart of the ESS methodology. The IKC approach ensures the involvement of expert partners delivering hardware and related R&D activities as components of the larger project. 
 
The proposed contract is for the design and assembly of a laser system to be developed as part of the ESS Work Package, Sample Environment for Life Science. It will be used mainly on time-of-flight spectrometers and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) instruments. Taking advantage of the unprecedented neutron flux, or “brightness”, of the European Spallation Source, the device will enable researchers to design experiments using the time-resolved quasielastic neutron scattering (QENS) technique. 
 
Laser-excited, time-resolved QENS experiments are well suited for real-time studies of functional processes in native and biomimetic systems. A more detailed understanding of the internal molecular dynamics of proteins opens up a wide range of possible applications in biophysics, including photo-induced functional processes, temperature jump experiments, and thermal unfolding. With this IKC, ESS will enable a long-awaited leap forward for real-time experimentation.
 
The planned start date for the implementation of this IKC is 1 September 2014, with a project period of one year. The contract represents the first stage of the NSS/University of Tartu project with secured funding from the Estonian government valued at EUR 196,000. 
 
It is important to establish such components early so that they may be integrated into overall instrument design. The Estonian IKC will be an important test case for the integration of components interfacing between an instrument and its sample environment. Additionally, building the system with an expert partner will establish new safety procedures specific to laser systems. And finally, by establishing an operational system by next year, the IKC will act to strengthen ESS’s scientific network through the commissioning process necessary to adapt the system to existing instruments at other neutron sources. 
 
The IKRC is a sub-committee of the STC, and reports directly to the STC. The IKRC consists of delegates from the Member Countries and oversees all IKCs to ESS, including the corresponding implementation of the rules and legal frameworks for the agreements, implementation, and final accreditation of the IKC.
 
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