NCBJ: From Fundamental Research to Production of Radiopharmaceuticals - NAWA

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Experts at the National Centre for Nuclear Research in Świerk near Warsaw carry out fundamental research in the areas of elementary particle physics, nuclear physics and cosmology as well as applied research which consists in designing new materials. Moreover, the institute is involved in manufacturing radiopharmaceuticals.


The National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ) is one of Poland’s major research institutes. It has at its disposal the sole nuclear research reactor in the country – Maria, used for reactor research and works on nuclear fuel.

‘The number of such reactors in Europe has been decreasing radically in recent years. As a result, the interest in cooperating with us is growing,’ says Deputy Director for Innovation and Commercialisation, Paweł Sobkowicz, DSc.

The research facility maintains extensive international cooperation, e.g. with Germany, France, the US and Switzerland, including with the greatest laboratory worldwide – the European Organisation for Nuclear Research CERN in Geneva.

Based on the achievements of the Polish co-creators of the world’s most powerful laser XFEL, located in Hamburg, the NCBJ team is currently working on a Polish free electron laser – PolFEL. Moreover, the Polish scientists have collaborated with experts from Switzerland and China in work on the POLAR detector, whose purpose is to measure the polarisation of gamma radiation bursts (GRB) in space. Apart from that, the NCBJ is a major global manufacturer of radiopharmaceuticals, which are exported to 80 countries.

The institute is constantly developing. It is building a modern centre for design and synthesis of molecularly targeted radiopharmaceuticals CERAD, which will use a cyclotron – a unique facility in Europe (another similar accelerator is currently under construction in Jülich, Germany). It will also create a laboratory of industrial radiography for the needs of fundamental research and industry. The lab will make it possible to detect safety risks, e.g. faulty bridge welds.

The Centre provides a wide range of research and design services for domestic and foreign partners, e.g. it tests the radiation resistance of materials or analyses the environmental impact of industrial installations. In addition, it offers PhD programmes and research fellowships.

National Centre for Nuclear Research in Świerk