Historic Agreement Fuels Scientific Advancements
Okayama University and the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI) have joined forces to inaugurate a state-of-the-art synchrotron radiation facility, SPring-8, and an X-ray free-electron laser on September 1, 2023, marking a significant stride in promoting Japanese science, technology, and industry through collaborative research and personnel exchanges.
Pioneering Collaborative Research
The signing ceremony took place at SPring-8, with University President Yasutomo Nasu and JASRI President Yoshiyuki Amemiya sealing the agreement. President Nasu expressed the university’s vision, stating,
“Our research strategy is ‘from the inside to the outside,’ aiming to be a regional core and distinctive research institution.”
President Amemiya echoed this vision, emphasizing the alignment with JASRI’s strategy and the desire to create a ‘complex’ for innovation.
A Bright Future Ahead
Following the signing ceremony, President Nasu, Vice Director Takuo Kuboki, Dean Kenji Tsuruta, and other attendees toured SPring-8 and SACLA, exchanging insights and discussing future plans to maximize the collaboration’s potential.
Proximity Fosters Collaboration
SPring-8 and SACLA, situated in Sayo-gun, Hyogo Prefecture, have geographical proximity, which has fostered various interactions between JASRI and Okayama University over the years.
In 2000, an agreement for cooperation in education and research was inked, leading to joint initiatives like the “Summer School” and “Autumn School.” JASRI has also contributed by providing visiting instructors to enhance educational cooperation.
The Core Facility Concept
Okayama University’s commitment to the “Core Facility Concept” aims to share research facilities and equipment across the university, fostering innovation not only within but also outside the institution.
Collaborative discussions with JASRI have led to the agreement, extending cooperation to fields beyond science and technology, including medicine and humanities.
A Transformative Collaboration
Under this agreement, JASRI researchers and SPring-8 and SACLA users gain access to the university’s research resources for preliminary analysis. Simultaneously, the university can utilize SPring-8 and SACLA across all disciplines.
The collaboration aims to enhance personnel exchange, driving the university’s mission to become a regional core research institution contributing to global innovation.
Unveiling the Technological Marvels
SPring-8: This colossal synchrotron radiation facility, located in Harima Science Park City, Hyogo Prefecture, owned by RIKEN, generates the world’s highest-performance synchrotron radiation. JASRI offers essential user support, and its name, SPring-8, derives from “Super Photon ring-8 GeV.” Researchers employ synchrotron radiation in various fields, including nanotechnology, biotechnology, and industrial applications.
XFEL (X-ray Free Electron Laser): This X-ray laser operates differently from conventional lasers. It uses an electron beam in a vacuum, providing the advantage of having no theoretical wavelength limit and emitting ultra-short pulses lasting only femtoseconds. Japan’s first XFEL facility, SACLA (SPring-8 Angstrom Compact free electron LAser), was constructed jointly by RIKEN and the High Brightness Photon Science Research Center, with completion in March 2011. SACLA can produce lasers with wavelengths shorter than 0.1 nm, setting a global benchmark.