The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is organizing the first International Conference on Accelerators for Research and Development: From Good Practices Towards Socioeconomics Impact. Such a Conference was long awaited by the Member States to address important needs in our high-tech oriented society, where particle accelerators have become indispensable.
Nowadays, more than 20,000 particle accelerators operating world-wide are used for commercial applications, either in the medical (radiotherapy treatments) or industrial sectors (materials modification). Although only a few hundred accelerators are used for scientific research, the knowledge and technological spin-offs gained from these facilities drive the development of commercial applications and support the research and development needs of a diverse range of fields, including fundamental and applied science. The current trend is to utilize accelerators in a dedicated way to support specific high technology application areas. The main demand from researchers is for high quality X ray, neutron, and ion beams to engage in cutting-edge research in energy, food and agriculture, environment, biology, medicine, forensics, cultural heritage, materials science, and many other areas. Accelerators also play a key role in capacity building, provide education and training both in academia and industry, contributing to the solution of problems of modern society and to increased competitiveness of local economies.
Numerous innovations and accomplishments in the field of accelerator-based research and development as well as diverse applications have been already acknowledged, however it is now time to take a comprehensive look at their socioeconomic impact, assess their sustainability and ability to meet future challenges. The IAEA has been implementing programmatic activities that provide interested Member States with platforms to exchange information on new trends and applications in accelerator-based nuclear science and technology. Indeed, the IAEA successfully implements a few programmes with direct relevance to use of particle accelerators such as Nuclear Science, Radioisotope Production and Radiation Technology, Human Health and Environment. In addition, direct support and assistance to the Member States in the area of accelerator-based research and applications is also provided through the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme.
Purpose and Objectives
The Conference aims primarily to present an international stage for discussing accelerator applications in research and industry, foster exchange of information on best practices in accelerator facility utilization and management, and to provide a showcase how achievements and experience attained with accelerator technologies contribute to a sustainable development. All types of accelerators will be considered: from low-energy ion-beam electrostatic accelerators to cyclotrons, from compact accelerator-based neutron sources to large-scale spallation facilities, from electron-based irradiation facilities to synchrotron light sources, and many others.