With a growth of more than 50% in terms of beamtime sales with respect to 2002, industrial activity at the ESRF continues to expand acquiring an increasingly significant role in the overall research activities.

While macromolecular crystallography is leading this progress with more than 70% of the total beamtime dedicated to industrial activities in 2003, new techniques are attracting both European and non-European companies in the field of chemistry. The industrial demand for the X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) and Small Angle Scattering (SAXS) techniques has considerably increased.

The success of MXpress, the data collection service implemented for macromolecular crystallography, and the forthcoming installation of automated sample changers represents a great improvement of the service for proprietary research.

Industrial activity at the ESRF goes beyond the sale of beamtime. Technology transfer at different levels of complexity is becoming a central activity of our Industrial and Commercial Unit (ICU).

The present involvement in more than twenty European projects and the large number of proposals on behalf of research and industrial organisations to participate in new projects, gives a fair idea of the role of the ESRF in all the fields of European applied research.

In the following chapter, after a short presentation of the MXpress service, a few examples of applied research by small-angle scattering, powder diffraction and imaging techniques are given.

F. Comin