Success through collaboration: PSI and SwissNeutronics AG

Technology transfer - meaning the transfer of research results to industry - can take place in various ways. Founding a spin-off is a very efficient way of transferring or commercialising a technology developed at PSI to industry. In recent years, PSI has founded a number of such spin-offs from various research areas. Even years later, PSI is still in close contact with most of its spin-offs, from which both sides can benefit. The company "SwissNeutronics AG", based in Klingnau, is the oldest PSI spin-off and was spun off as early as 1999. For more than 20 years, SwissNeutronics and the PSI have repeatedly worked together successfully on various projects and can mutually benefit from synergy effects.

As part of the upgrade of the Neutron Spallation Source (SINQ) at PSI, which was carried out from 2017 - 2021, a valuable contribution could be made through the collaboration with SwissNeutronics. An essential component of this upgrade are elliptically focusing neutron guide elements of the AMOR instrument. While SwissNeutronics developed and optimised the manufacturing process for these elements, they were measured at PSI at a highly specialised test station for optics. The know-how on the part of SwissNeutronics combined with the analysis possibilities and expertise of the PSI made the production of the sophisticated elements possible.

The knowledge gained from this collaboration is now being successfully used for a comparable instrument (ESTIA) for the European Spallation Source (ESS) in Sweden. Without the successful collaboration between PSI and its oldest spin-off SwissNeutronics, the realisation of the ESTIA instrument for the European Spallation Source ESS would not have been conceivable. While PSI can benefit from the specific competencies of SwissNeutronics, SwissNeutronics takes advantage of the exchange with the PSI: "Thanks to PSI, we keep our finger on the pulse of research and make our contribution in the further development of technical solutions for new scientific ideas and concepts," says Michael Schneider, CRO of SwissNeutronics.

Built-in elliptical neutron guide element based on the Selene principle at the AMOR instrument at PSI.