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Technological developments and business development

SOLEIL involves scientific instrumentation companies in its technological research; upstream within the framework of collaborative projects and downstream in the industrial and commercial exploitation of innovative devices designed by its teams.

Provision of technological services and training services and supply of innovative devices for experimental use for businesses

To meet the requirements of its customers and commercial partners, SOLEIL not only provides material analysis services using its beamlines, but also notably:

  • training services (e.g. ultra-vacuum techniques, radiological protection, etc.)
  • technological services (cleaning of mechanical parts under ultra-vacuum, tests on instrumentation devices under ultra-vacuum, magnetic measurements, design of magnets and pulsed power supplies, programming of PCBs, alignment and adjustment of monochromators, etc.).

If requested by third parties (businesses or other large research infrastructures), SOLEIL can likewise provide innovative devices for use in experiments that have been designed and used for its own needs (e.g. electronic system for motorisation control).


Setting up of partnerships for technological development with businesses

In addition to the framework agreements for the commercial use of the beamlines and scientific research collaborations conducted between industrial companies and beamline scientists, SOLEIL implements technological development collaborations with companies in the scientific instrumentation sector, in the form of innovation projects linked to the production and/or the exploitation of synchrotron radiation.

These projects for designing and constructing innovative devices, conducted where appropriate with academic partners providing specifically required particular skills, relate to a variety of areas such as optics, detectors,  nano-focusing of light beams, nano-displacement, radio-frequency amplification, quadrupoles, etc. and can generate co-filings of patent applications.

SOLEIL has thus created, between the start of operation in 2008 and the end of 2016, a portfolio of 11 patent families deposited in co-ownership.


Arrangement of knowledge transfers (know-how, patents, software) to businesses

In the technology segments where a market potential is clearly identified (distribution of the innovative technology to other synchrotrons, other particle accelerators, or even to commercial and industrial sectors other than scientific instrumentation), SOLEIL implements knowledge transfers (know-how, patents, software) to companies likely to be able to achieve industrialisation, manufacturing and commercialisation of the technological products derived from this knowledge.

Since starting operation in 2008, SOLEIL has thus implemented six knowledge transfer processes (know-how and software) to French SMEs in the scientific instrumentation sector, and two additional transfers have been finalised by the company for the transfer of an academic partner, co-owner of patents with SOLEIL, to an independent SME and to an SME subsidiary of a large group. Licensed knowledge relates to a variety of technological areas: light beam diagnostics, ultra-vacuum, radio-frequency amplification, pulsed magnetic systems, data processing software, transfers of liquid samples, etc.

A ninth knowledge transfer to a very small business in Essonne, within the field of sample-carrier cryogenic inserts, is currently being finalised by SOLEIL.


Synthesis and perspectives

The scientific requirements of user communities necessitate the frequent development of innovative technologies or enhancements to existing technologies going beyond the state of the art; synchrotron radiation centres such as SOLEIL are sites where there is a strong synergy between scientific research and technological research on the one hand, and between research infrastructures and high-tech industries on the other hand.

These synergies do not develop exclusively in the technological dimension; they also facilitate networking between people working in the field, promoting the growth of knowledge and the confrontation with other competencies in the field as well as to the consolidation of skills in the field, in a climate of mutual confidence.

The different ways and means for the exchange of knowledge between the synchrotron radiation centres such as SOLEIL and industry, primarily within the scientific instrumentation sector, promote increased innovation potential and the industrial and commercial development of the companies involved, primarily in France and Europe, thus contributing to the maintenance or even the strengthening of their activity and their competitiveness.


Contact : Philippe DEBLAY
tel : 33(0) 1 69 35 90 05
mail :