The BDO actively works with industry to create customised collaborations and partnerships.  These interactions put special emphasis on projects that catalyse and develop industrial use of our facilities, either with pre-competitive R&D and/or proprietary work. Within such collaborations, we offer the possibility to fund studentships and post-docs based at the ESRF which allows an efficient access to facilities for an extended period of time.

We believe that partnerships and grants are excellent ways to push research forward. The ESRF is an active partner in seeking grant support to industrial and applied R&D. We can be a full partner or act as an expert for specific outsourced requirements to the project. Please contact us for more information.




The public-private partnership Institut Recherche Technologique (IRT) NanoElec is funding a 6.5M€ Pathfinder Programme to better open the European research infrastructures European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and Institut Laue Langevin (ILL) to European micro- and nano-electronics industry R&D and innovation. 

The IRT NanoElec programme is focused on 3D assembly integration, nanophotonics on silicon and via technologies, supported by technological infrastructure including a pathfinder programme for Industrial Micro- and Nano-Electronics Characterisation using neutrons and synchrotron X-rays.

The NanoElec funding is providing staff to support electronics R&D at ESRF and ILL, as well as complementary facilities at the CEA Nano-Characterisation Centre. Off-line sample preparation facilities and characterisation processes from industry device to on-line experiment design and performance with data analysis will be made available as the large-scale facilities and industry learn how to work together. The experience gained and platform facilities will be available for European and international companies, as will opportunities for training in the synchrotron and neutron techniques.




NFFA is creating an integrated, distributed research infrastructure as a platform supporting comprehensive user projects for multidisciplinary research at the nanoscale extending from synthesis and nanolithography to nanocharacterisation, theoretical modelling and numerical simulation, through a coordinated open-access to complementary facilities. As well as user access, NFFA is developing novel complementary nano-fab and characterisation tools and promoting awareness to academic and industrial user communities through outreach and training.

To allow access to this platform NFFA is funding transnational access (TNA). NFFA is encouraging users from various sectors of nanotechnology to access to the distributed research infrastructure, both from academia and from industry. In particular, for industry, an ad-hoc networking activity has been put in place. If you are a potential academic or industrial user and you are interested to know more, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Transnational Access: Procedure for ESRF users to obtain NFFA-supported access to CEA-LETI facilities

NFFA infrastructure is distributed across various core sites spread all around Europe, where proximity between Nanotechnology Centres and Large Scale Facilities is exploited to provide unique capabilities of manufacturing and characterisation at the nanoscale. Access to the NFFA infrastructure is supported via the TNA scheme. Interested users need to apply via a proposal and acceptance will be submitted to a peer review evaluation process.

ESRF, together with the CEA-LETI are the members of the Grenoble NFFA cluster. As a consequence, ESRF users who apply for beam time at the ESRF have also the possibility to apply for the use of certain CEA-LETI equipment.

The application process is the following:

1) The user submits an expression of interest while filling in the ESRF proposal for beam time, ticking the appropriate box in the “Support Lab” section.

2) If the ESRF proposal is successful, the user will be contacted by the Grenoble NFFA Technical Liaison.

3) The request will be submitted for authorisation to the NFFA Committee.

4) If the request is successful, the proposal is accepted and the NFFA-supported access to CEA-LETI is scheduled.

It is important to point out that it is not compulsory to have the access to the CEA-LETI synchronised with that of the ESRF. Moreover, no support for travel, food and accommodation will be reimbursed for the access to CEA-LETI. The NFFA TNA grant will only contribute for CEA-LETI access costs (equipment and technical assistance).

Equipment accessible at CEA-LETI

The LETI laboratory offers the following nano-characterisation and sample preparation equipment:

  • TEM
  • SEM
  • Plasma-FIB
  • Dual-Beam-FIB
  • Nano-AES
  • Cathodoluminescance
  • Photoluminescence
  • (UHV)AFM
  • Raman
  • EC nanocaracterisation: ToF-SIMS, MEIS, XPS, XPEEM.


The ESRF one of the light sources working with an IUPAP-IUCr project within the 2016-2019 ICSU grants programme called Utilisation of Light Source and Crystallographic Sciences to Facilitate the Enhancement of Knowledge and Improve the Economic and Social Conditions in Targeted Regions of the World to enhance Advanced Light Sources (AdLS) and crystallographic sciences in Africa, the Middle East, Mexico and Caribbean


The ESRF is the Co-ordinator of the OPEN SESAME project.
The OPEN SESAME project will ensure optimal exploitation of the Synchrotron light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) light source. With this aim, OPEN SESAME has three key objectives:

1. To train SESAME staff in the storage ring and beamline instrumentation technology, research techniques and administration for optimal use of a modern light source facility.

2. To build-up human capacity in Middle East researchers to optimally exploit SESAME’s infrastructure.

3. To train SESAME staff and its user community in public outreach and corporate communications, and to support SESAME and its stakeholders in building awareness and demonstrating its socio-economic impact to assure longer term exploitation.

Each objective is tackled by a work package. Firstly, SESAME staff training is addressed by 65 staff exchanges planned between SESAME and the European partners. Secondly, capacity-building is targeted by five training schools, a short-term fellowship programme and an industrial workshop. Finally, a proactive communications strategy will be created, including an educational “roadshow” to all of the SESAME Members, and a training programme in research infrastructure administration and their economic role and impact for young science managers of SESAME Member stakeholders.

The project directly addresses the INFRASUPP-2016-2017 call to support SESAME. OPEN SESAME is well aligned to the broader scope of the work programme with activities that will have a lasting impact on a reinforced European Research Area, and particularly in strengthening international cooperation for research infrastructures with a key Region located close to Europe.

The project has been developed closely with SESAME, its Directors and international Training Advisory Committee. The OPEN SESAME consortium is composed of ten European institutes: six light sources:ALBA CELLS, DESY, ELETTRA, ESRF, INFN, Synchrotron SOLEIL, as well as The Cyprus Institute, CERN, CNRS and Instruct) along with SESAME itself.


Starting in September 2016, OCAS is funding a post-doctoral researcher is based at the ESRF's ID06 beamline. OCAS develops alloys and coatings for its customers by co-developing steel applications and by processing and testing of metal-based samples.



The ESRF is the leader for the CALIPSO "European Light Sources for Industrial Innovation" work package. This will allow better networking amongst the European light sources for industrial interaction, as well as providing support to create an international Industrial Advisory Board for the light sources and for a series of workshops at the light source centres with industry.​​


ESRF is involved in the CRISP industrial interaction work package which has funding to run a series of events of industrial interest - particularly in technology development for large-scale infrastructures.


Saint-Gobain has provided funding for a post-doctoral fellow to be based at the ESRF working on the EXAFS suite of beamlines for catalysis R&D. The Saint-Gobain team benefits from beam time for proprietary work, whilst there is also a joint R&D programme with publishable results.