Roadmap 2020

General Statement

On a mandate of the Confederation, the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) develops individual roadmaps for scientific research infrastructures. It is the basis for the Swiss Roadmap for Research Infrastructures and for decision-making on the investment of federal funds in research facilities of national interest.  

Overall, there is a total of 8 roadmaps (astronomy, space science, high energy physics, biology, chemistry, geosciences, neutron science and photon science) published altogether in March 2021.

The SSPh Roadmap

The SSPh roadmap distills findings and recommendations with respect to large scale photon sources for the period 2025 to 2028. It includes three chapters, one on synchrotrons, one on XFELs and one on support infrastructure, such as ‘Fastlabs’. Each chapter provides details to back-up the main recommendations.

Management Summary

The Swiss Society for Photon Science (SSPh) summarizes Swiss large-scale infrastructure requirements, both national and international, in the broad field of photon science for the years 2025-2029. In preparation for this roadmap, SSPh has collected the scientific visions and compiled the needs of the photon science community. For this overview, users of the synchrotron Swiss Light Source (SLS) and the X-ray free-electron laser SwissFEL, the major large-scale facilities in Switzerland, as well as of the European Synchrotron facility (ESRF) were directly contacted. SSPh also contacted deans and department heads at all universities in Switzerland and through them the broader scientific community in their respective institutions. Based on analysis of the communities response to this outreach, SSPh distilled recommendations for future strategic planning in view of improving access to relevant state-of-the-art research facilities. The document has been made available to the community and SSPh members, in order to allow the community to give feedback and input. The SSPh prioritized these recommendations distinguishing between national and international facilities. In addition, new processes and tools for funding photon related research were identified. All recommendations aim to support strong and scientifically excellent research in photon science within an expanding landscape of large-scale facilities. The recommendations emphasize:

  • continued support for SLS and SwissFEL,
  • continued support for the international facilities European X-ray Free-Electron-Laser (EU-XFEL) and ESRF,
  • expanded funding mechanisms for instrumentation that enhance the impact of large-scale facilities, including institution-based laser platforms.

The current scientific programs at SLS and SwissFEL are at the forefront of science. The recommendations in this roadmap will allow the Swiss community to maintain this status and excel within the international photon science community in the near future. Nevertheless, it remains crucial to continuously expand on our technological capabilities, react to the changing needs of the community, and to pursue new developments in science; therefore, this roadmap should be regularly updated.

The complete Photon Science Roadmap can be found here. DOI:

Photon Science Roadmap.pdf