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Circular Aug 2008

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'''SRRIC CIRCULAR AUGUST 2008'''

* Kindly note new affiliation of SRRIC Chairperson
-> Simon H. Connell
-> Associate Professor
-> Department of Physics, Faculty of Science
-> University of Johannesburg, PO Box 524, Auckland Park, 2006, SA
-> cell (best option)  : +27 82 945-7508
-> phone (UJ)          : +27 11 559-2327 (sec)
-> e-mail              : simonhconnell@gmail.com

* The budget request for the second synchrotron series of meetings '''S-at-S-II''' has been submitted to Mr Byren Archary at the DST.  We are expecting positive feedback on this soon, in which case the first announcement for the synchrotron workshop , '''9-14 FEBRUARY 2009''', can be circulated.  The Synchrotron meeting is preceded by the NanoAfrica 2009 conference to be held  at the CSIR convention centre 1-4 Feb 09.

* We have canvassed quite extensively with colleagues and friends overseas, and there have been many positive responses in support of the Feb-09 workshop.  We envisage that the lecture and scientific programme for S-at-S-II can be compiled during September when most Europeans are back from summer holidays.  We will need to convene one or two meetings of a local organizing committee by end of the year .

* In the lead up to the conference in Feb-09, we are expecting to have regular contact with Byren Archary our main contact person at the DST.  In which case various aspects of the Synchrotron Roadmap can be visited. This includes considering the establishment of a '''RESEARCH CHAIR for Synchrotron Science''' , so as to have a champion to drive the whole Synchrotron Initiative forward.

* There seems to be a consensus that we need to have an ''' “open call”  for the synchrotron access (travel) fund '''. To help drive this point home we need to provide the DST with '''USER STATISTICS''' to perhaps demonstrate a growing User base and demand for beam-time.  To this end a questionnaire has been compiled and circulated on the mailing list.  Kindly have this '''[[Attach:UserStatsQues.doc|User Statistics Questionnaire]]''' filled out by 30 August , and returned to designated SRRIC members for collation.  Good feedback is of strategic importance to make a strong case to the DST.

* During late July members of SRRIC have established contact with the new scientific attaché at the Italian Embassy, Dr Guisto Sciarabba.  He has shown considerable interest and support for our Synchrotron initiative and has given serious thoughts to various Italy-SA funding alternatives to promote our cause.  In this regard he has already established contact with the Director at the ELETTRA synchrotron in Trieste.  There is a possibility to pursue a lucrative joint Special Project initiative as part of the '''ITALY-SA BILATERAL PROGRAMME ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY''' .  The idea is to tap into this pot of monies for capacity building in respect of Synchrotron science in SA.  SRRIC members will follow up on this in the next several weeks by first opening communication channels with the director at ELETTRA, Dr Giorgio Paolucci.