Press Release

11-18

December 16, 2011

Media Contact:
Katie Yurkewicz, Fermilab Office of Communication, 630-840-3351 or katie@fnal.gov

Fermilab to Build Illinois Accelerator Research Center

IARC Groundbreaking ceremony

Officials broke ground for the Illinois Accelerator Research Center at Fermilab Dec. 16. From left: Bob Kephart, IARC Project Director; Jim Siegrist, associate director of the Office of Science for the Office of High Energy Physics; Michael Weis, DOE Fermilab site manager for the Office of Science; William Brinkman, director of the Office of Science for the DOE; Pier Oddone, Fermilab director; Warren Ribley, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Linda Holmes, Illinois state senator; and Michael Fortner, Illinois state representative.

Batavia, Ill. — A new accelerator research facility being built at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory will bolster Illinois’ reputation as a technology hub and foster job creation.

The Illinois Accelerator Research Center (IARC) at the Department of Energy’s Fermilab will provide a state-of-the-art facility for research, development and industrialization of particle accelerator technology. The design and construction of IARC is jointly funded by DOE and the State of Illinois.

"In Illinois we understand the importance of investing in cutting edge technologies, which not only boost our economy, but also secure our role as a major competitor in the global marketplace," said Governor Quinn. "The best minds in the world are right here, and today we are investing in our future by ensuring that the latest groundbreaking particle research activities will continue to come from Illinois."

A major focus of IARC will be to develop partnerships with private industry for the commercial and industrial application of accelerator technology for energy and the environment, medicine, industry, national security and discovery science. IARC will also offer unique advanced educational opportunities to a new generation of Illinois engineers and scientists and attract top scientists from around the world.

Located in the heart of the industrial area of the Fermilab campus, IARC will house 42,000 square feet of technical, office and educational space for scientists and engineers from Fermilab, DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, local universities and industrial partners.

"The IARC facility will help fuel innovation by developing advanced technologies, strengthening ties with industry and training the scientists of tomorrow," said Dr. William F. Brinkman, Director of DOE’s Office of Science, one of the speakers at today’s groundbreaking. "The Department of Energy welcomes the opportunity to partner with the State of Illinois and looks forward to seeing IARC come to fruition."

The superstars of the particle accelerator world are the giant research accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland and Fermilab’s Tevatron, which was permanently shut down in September. Behind the headlines, about 30,000 accelerators are at work around the world in industry, medicine, security, defense and science. All the products that are processed, treated or inspected by particle beams have an estimated annual value of more than $500 billion.

Today’s particle accelerators address many of the challenges confronting our nation in the areas of sustainable energy, a cleaner environment, economic security, health care and national defense. The accelerators of tomorrow have the potential to make still greater contributions. Other nations are already applying these next-generation technologies to current-generation issues, and challenging U.S. leadership in accelerator innovation. The U.S., which has traditionally led the world in the development and application of accelerator technology, now finds its leadership threatened.

"A focused effort and strengthened partnerships between government and industry are required for the United States to remain competitive in accelerator science and technology," said Fermilab Director Pier Oddone. "IARC will greatly enhance accelerator research and innovation at Fermilab and strengthen our capability to host new international projects. We will also broaden our economic impact on Illinois by working with industry and universities on advanced R&D with many commercial and scientific applications."

The Illinois Jobs Now! capital bill provided $20 million to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to fund a grant for the design and construction of a new building that will form part of the IARC complex.

"The IARC facility positions Illinois at the forefront of the world-wide effort to develop cutting-edge accelerator technologies," said Warren Ribley, Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, another speaker at today’s groundbreaking. "It also reinforces the Quinn Administration’s commitment to supporting innovation in Illinois, as well as the creation of 200 high-tech jobs in addition to construction jobs."

The DOE is also providing $13 million to Fermilab to refurbish an existing heavy industrial building that will be incorporated into the complex, adding 36,000 square feet of specialized workspace.

More information about the Illinois Accelerator Research Center is available at: http://www.fnal.gov/pub/IARC

To learn more about the applications of particle accelerators, visit: http://www.acceleratorsamerica.org/


Fermilab is a national laboratory supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy, operated under contract by Fermi Research Alliance, LLC.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity raises Illinois' profile as a global business destination and nexus of innovation. It provides a foundation for the economic prosperity of all Illinoisans, through the coordination of business recruitment and retention, infrastructure building and job training efforts, and administration of state and federal grant programs.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the Unites States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit the Office of Science website at science.energy.gov.

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