Formed in April 2007 from the merger of CCLRC and PPARC, the STFC is the public sector research organisation whose role is to provide access to large scale scientific facilities for researchers in the UK. STFC has an annual expenditure of about £500 million, with ~ 2500 staff based at seven locations, including several user facilities.
STFC is a major data producer, data curator and supplier of data and services to a very large academic community across the UK and the rest of Europe. As a data producer STFC runs major telescopes around the world, and major facilities for neutron, X-ray and laser scattering to investigate the structure of materials. The e-Science Department runs many services including the UK National Grid Service, the Petabyte Store, the EGEE Regional Operation Centre and the W3C office for UK for Ireland. STFC currently runs a number of thematic data repositories, although these are managed largely independently by domain experts. As an example of the STFC facilities, ISIS is the world’s leading pulsed spallation neutron source. Every neutron data file ever measured at ISIS, since it became operational more than twenty years ago, is stored at the Facility-an archive of some 2.2 million files with a total data volume of 3.5Tb. It has 10,000 registered users with ~4000 coming from the EU, representing most European countries.
STFC is also active in IT standardisation (e.g. BSI, OGF, W3C, IETF, ISO) to ensure that our requirements are met by multiple interoperable suppliers.