Indo-Italian Synchrotron Collaboration


Indian research groups have been collaborating with researchers at the Italian Synchrotron radiation source Elettra since past 17 years. The collaboration between Elettra and Indian research institutions is a part of a wider collaboration between the countries sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The high standard of the collaboration in the field of synchrotron radiation was recognized in the joint statement by the prime ministers of both the countries, on the occasion of Italian Prime Minister’s visit to India in February 2007.

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Statistics till 2015 indicate that the collaboration has led around 305 visits of Indian groups to Elettra (with an average of three scientists per visit) in the last 17 years and to the publication of approximately 256 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Elettra received around 959 experimental proposals from Indian research groups, corresponding to ~8 % of the total: only Italy and France submitted more proposals (4873 and 1034, respectively). This makes Elettra the most requested European national synchrotron radiation laboratory by Indian users.


This collaboration has been the earliest possibility for Indian scientists to access synchrotron facilities and played the most crucial role in building up the synchrotron community within India by making it available to even those who did not have any prior access to or knowledge of synchrotron based techniques. As a part of this project, the community was nurtured to become competitive in preparing their proposals that were evaluated internationally to obtain synchrotron beam-time in various areas of research ranging from solid state and surface physics to nanotechnology, materials science and life sciences wherein the maximum number of proposals have been submitted in the field of condensed matter physics. It is also noteworthy that this awareness and curiosity for the synchrotron assisted research has been uniformly widespread in the entire country spanning various national as well as regional educational and research institutes.

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In this leaflet, we have attempted to briefly account this successful collaboration. Though it is extremely difficult to quantify the spirit, benefits and long lasting deep impacts of this fruitful collaboration using numbers or words, we have made a humble attempt here to outline the path of success which this collaboration has created over the years.