[ASC-media] Final machine design for Australian Synchrotron announced

Niall Byrne niall at byc.com.au
Wed Feb 5 08:34:03 EST 2003

(Issued by the Vic government - not my work so call them)


In a major boost to Australia's scientific infrastructure, the Bracks
Government has announced plans to build a synchrotron twice as powerful than
originally proposed.

Innovation Minister, John Brumby, said the new design ? known as Boomerang
20 ? would guarantee that Australian researchers had access to world leading
synchrotron technology.

Mr Brumby said the Victorian Government would fund the synchrotron building
and machine, with the beamlines to be funded from other sources such as
universities, industry and other governments.

"Boomerang 20 is the most significant investment in Australia's scientific
infrastructure for decades," Mr Brumby said.

"The facility will generate over $65 million a year to the Victorian economy
and create up to 2500 new direct and indirect jobs.

"It will ensure our top researchers have the world leading technology they
need to make major breakthroughs in everything from cancer research to the
design of new computer chips."

Mr Brumby said new funding arrangements had been adopted to accommodate the
new design and boost investor confidence in the project.

As a result, the Government will provide $157.2 million for the synchrotron
building and machine, with consortia comprising universities, research
institutions, other governments and the private sector to fund the cost of
the beamlines. The total cost of the project will be $206.3 million.

"This approach is already paying dividends, with Professor Alan Gilbert,
Vice Chancellor of Melbourne University, announcing that the University will
contribute funding towards the construction of one or more beamlines," Mr
Brumby said.

The additional State Government contribution will be provided through the
Science Technology and Innovation Initiative program.

Boomerang 20 will:

. Accommodate up to 95% of Australian synchrotron research requirements.
Scientists currently have to travel overseas to use synchrotron technology;

. Generate light twice as bright as the previous design ? brightness that is
essential for the analysis of complex compounds such as the structure of
proteins in cancerous cells; and

. Have a larger circumference (216 metres) to accommodate over 30 beamlines.
The previous design was limited to around 24.

Mr Brumby said an international team of synchrotron experts ? the
International Machine Advisory Committee ? had recommended and endorsed the
new design.

It has also received widespread support from Australian science and industry
leaders, including:

. Professor Peter Doherty (Nobel Laureate) ? "Synchrotrons are becoming
fundamental tools in the battle against disease. The Australian Synchrotron,
with its powerful machine supporting high-performance biomedical beamlines,
will allow Australia's medical researchers to work at the cutting edge."

. Sir Gustav Nossal (Melbourne University Professor Emeritus) ? "Victoria's
decision to fully fund the core elements of the Australian Synchrotron,
including the bigger, brighter Boomerang 20 machine, is great news for
Australian science. This major investment in Australia's future amply
demonstrates the Victorian Government's vision and leadership in

. Dr Robert La Nauze  (General Manager, Technology, WMC Resources Ltd) ?
"Synchrotron science is providing answers to critical questions in mining
and mineral processing. The Australian Synchrotron, with its improved
capability, will provide new knowledge to help lift productivity and grow
Australia's minerals sector. Through our research partners such as AMIRA,
CSIRO and the universities, WMC Resources will be a supporter of this

National Scientific Advisory Committee Chair, Professor Frank Larkins, said
he was confident the new design and new funding arrangements would act as a
catalyst for attracting more beamline consortia interest in the project.

"There is strong investment interest in the beamlines from universities,
research institutions, national science bodies, other governments and
industry, especially through industry associations," Professor Larkins said.

"All of these groups are now actively involved in collaborative processes to
design, cost and fund beamlines that will meet their research needs."

Mr Brumby said the new design would not impact on the synchrotron completion
date of early 2007.

"Site preparation works are underway; we have recently called for tenders to
design and construct the outer synchrotron building; and we have formally
advertised for positions, including engineers, technical managers and
physicists," he said.

"This leading research facility will complement other scientific research
infrastructure funded by the Bracks Government, including the new Nuclear
Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer to be housed at Melbourne University's Bio21
Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute.

"These two research tools together will make Victoria a global leader in
drug discovery and development," Mr Brumby said.

These announcements were made at the opening of the Australian Synchrotron:
A Workshop for Potential Users on 29 January 2003. For more information on
the University of Melbourne announcement please see

Australian Synchrotron Project
Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development
and Major Projects Victoria, Department of Infrastructure
Level 18, 80 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3001
Tel: (03) 9655 3315  (International: +61-3-9655 3315)
Fax: (03) 9655 8666  (International: +61-3-9655 8666)
E-mail: contact.us at synchrotron.vic.gov.au
Website: www.synchrotron.vic.gov.au

More information about the ASC-media mailing list