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Call for proposals
LEAPS-INNOV co-creation programme

LEAPS-INNOV project offers seed funding for cooperation pilots of LEAPS facilities with user communities


The review process for the applications submitted to the Call for Co-Creation studies is completed.

In total 10 proposals for exciting projects with the following distribution in project types have been submitted during the call: 9 for the technology developments, and 1 proposal for a development of targeted challenge driven access mode. The proposals got evaluated by about 30 independent experts of the respective field against the selection criteria listed below . Feedback has been provided to all applicants.

We thank all applicants for their participation in the Call.

The LEAPS-INNOV Governing Board has confirmed the final ranking and the top projects.

We congratulate the PIs of the three top ranked proposals and look forward for the project results.

The top ranked projects selected for funding and implementation are the following ones:


Implementation of user-friendly 3D Bragg ptychography at synchrotron sources

Main Applicant: Virginie Chamard, Fresnel CNRS-AMU

Project Partners: ESRF, Diamond, MAX IV

Achieved Score: 24,67/28


Project Public Summary:

In the recent years, 3D Bragg ptychography (3DBP) has emerged as a powerful crystalline microscopy method, owing to its capability to produce 3D maps of crystalline materials down to 10 nm spatial resolution. As 3DBP is compatible with the investigation of extended, rather complex crystals, it fills the gap between electron microscopy and Bragg coherent diffraction imaging, opening exciting perspectives to a large scientific community, as demonstrated with striking results obtained in physics, nanoscience, materials sciences, and biology. While 3DBP has been performed at various beamlines and several synchrotrons worldwide, some experimental difficulties have prevented its spread towards a larger number of less-experienced synchrotron users. With the advent of 4th generation synchrotron sources, we have shown that a full dataset could be acquired on the minute time scale under relaxed set-up stability requirements, thus tearing down the major barriers for its widespread application. There is now a timely opportunity to gather efforts to allow a large community of users to exploit this microscopy method. To this aim, the EASYBRAGG project proposes to produce a user-friendly BP framework to be implemented at 3rd and 4th generation synchrotron sources.

The EASYBRAGG consortium, composed by Institut Fresnel, ESRF, Diamond and MAX IV, merges recognized experts in 3DBP, including advanced experimental (nanoprobe, scanning) and numerical (inversion codes, methodological developments) aspects. A comprehensive user-friendly (open source) 3DBP package will be produced and implemented at ESRF, Diamond and MAX IV. It will come along with training tutorials and a series of written and oral communications to prospect and identify potential users from other scientific fields. With this collaborative technology development, 3DBP will become available for a large community of users. This will enrich the portfolio of accessible crystalline microscopy methods and allow scientists to address novel classes of crystalline materials-based phenomena. 



Strategic access for quantum technology

Main Applicant: apl. Prof. Oliver Rader, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie

Project Partners: SOLEIL, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Achieved Score: 24,00/28

Project Public Summary:

Quantum technology is at present developing rapidly and can provide enormous benefit for Europe's society and economy. The applicants have identified examples for crucial scientific questions where synchrotron and FEL radiation can help quantum technology. Currently, access to synchrotron and FEL radiation is granted (i) by each facility individually in the framework of (ii) semester-wise calls and based on (iii) scientific excellence and feasibility criteria which is not ideal for the quantum technology community new to synchrotron and FEL radiation. The present project will in direct interaction with the community identify the most important scientific questions, the resulting ideal way of access,  and the required instrumentation. Then one or several access modes will be tested at individual facilities and through LEAPS wide calls. A dedicated scientist will guide the community to existing and newly developed access modes and instrumentation. The project will give perspectives towards new instrumentation and further extension of the project, for example, in the direction of higher TRL levels.


3. AXF

Acoustofluidic crystallography

Main Applicant: Jonas Sellberg, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Project Partners: DESY, MAX IV

Achieved Score: 23,67/28

Project Public Summary:

Serial crystallography (SX) has become one of the standard techniques at synchrotrons and x-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) to obtain (time-resolved) high-resolution structural information from microcrystals of various proteins and enzymes. Nevertheless, reliable sample delivery is often the primary limiting factor in SX. We propose to make use of acoustofluidics in combination with state-of-the-art injection nozzles to reduce sample consumption, enable concentration enrichment in the nozzle and thus avoid clogging. We will use a piezoelectric actuator to create a 2D ultrasonic standing wave perpendicular to the crystal flow, which will focus the crystals into a single line inside a square silica capillary that is then integrated in a 3D-printed design for dual flow-focusing nozzles (DFFNs). We name this new modality acoustofluidic crystallography (AFX). The project is divided in 4 work packages with expected deliverables carried out at the partner organizations (KTH, DESY, MAX IV). A post-doctoral researcher would be funded by LEAPS-INNOV and recruited to work full time on the project for 12 months and participate in all work packages onsite. Funding for traveling, equipment and indirect costs has already been acquired elsewhere. The project is expected to: design a prototype for AFX; assemble the final design into a fully functioning device using 3D printing capabilities; install the optimized AFX device at an SX beamline; use the AFX device to perform protein crystallography and thus benchmark the device. The final implementation of the AFX device would be integrated at beamlines at MAX IV (BioMAX and MicroMAX) and PETRA III (P11) and be made available to users. This would allow for the use of acoustofluidics beyond expert users and lead to better use of SX beamtime, less sample consumption and structure determination of proteins that can only be crystallized in small amounts.

Call for Proposals:
Two types of initiatives can get seed funding in the order of 100k€ for 18 months:

a) collaborative technology developments;

b) collaborative development of strategic community access modes.

The LEAPS-INNOV innovation pilot project focusses on the implementation of new strategies and activities for long-term partnerships between industry and the European accelerator-based light sources, synchrotrons and free-electron lasers, with their tens of thousands of users. LEAPS-INNOV aims at kick-starting the implementation of the LEAPS Technology Roadmap and, at the same time, at fostering collaboration with European industry through open innovation.

Via the LEAPS-INNOV-co-creation programme, experienced as well as new user communities have a chance to develop new concepts, methods and technologies suited to their needs together with LEAPS facilities. The focus lies on joint technological developments, advanced research capabilities and access opportunities at the LEAPS facilities for both industry (as collaborator, supplier and user) and academic user communities in general.

Project types of interest in this Call:

Technology developments – any development of instrumentation that improves the use of LEAPS facilities for specific user communities. Project deliverables shall be stated clearly in the application and can preferably be a prototype or a technical design report for a science instrument with an instrument / method paper submitted to an open journal. The funding from LEAPS-INNOV can be used for salaries, services or goods as well for collaboration meetings. A clear user commitment (in form of matching funds or complementary resources) is expected.


Development of targeted challenge driven access modes - any development of targeted challenge driven access modes that benefit specific user communities solving a certain problem related to societal challenges at LEAPS facilities that need a collective effort. Targeted challenge driven (strategic) access for well-defined user communities is a cornerstone of the LEAPS strategy of a co-creation approach between facilities, academic research, and innovation driven enterprises. Project deliverables should include a description of the addressed user community, how the user community will organize itself around the strategic access, selection process and criteria for the beam time access, amount of beamtime requested, methods/instrumentation and installations needed. The funding from LEAPS-INNOV can be used for salaries, or services as well as for collaboration meetings. In-kind contribution as additional commitment (in form of matching funds or complementary resources) is expected.



Funding volume and period:

  • Funding will be provided for the period 1st January 2023 to 30th June 2024.

  • Two or three projects will be funded with a budget of 100k€-150k€ each.


  • Eligible are consortia comprising at least two LEAPS members and at least one user institution (academic or industrial) representing a larger user community or a user consortium, which is independent (different legal entity) from the LEAPS members. As user institution qualifies any institution that performs research at a LEAPS light source or intends to do so. The application must clearly outline the role of each partner. (In case of industrial partners, they cannot contribute as equipment provider; their contribution should imply active contribution to project development.)

  • One of the partners will have to be the lead applicant and be responsible for the budget.

  • The deliverables should include to guarantee a sufficient public dissemination of the project results. Open sharing of project information and deliverables is encouraged among all applicants.

Selection criteria:

  • Complementary of the consortia partners, contribution of the user institution

  • Benefit for a larger part of the user community

  • Alignment with the LEAPS strategy [1]

  • Contribution to LEAPS efforts to link to EU Horizon Europe missions and/or EU partnerships

Selection process:

  1. Review by a selection committee comprising of members of the Innovation Advisory Board, the Executive Board and the Governing Board of LEAPS-INNOV.

  2. Decision by LEAPS-INNOV Governing Board.

Call timeline:

  1. Call opening: 15th October 2022

  2. Call deadline: 30th November 2022

  3. Decision on granted proposals: end of January 2023

  4. Project start: 1st January 2023    delayed to 1 March 2023

To apply for the LEAPS-INNOV co-creation programme, please fill in the application template and submit the document in pdf format to the following email address by November 30th 2022. 

For any enquiries please contact

Selecton criteria
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