BATAVIA – December 16, 2011. Officials from the administration of Governor Pat Quinn today announced $20 million in Illinois Jobs Now! capital funding for the design and construction of a new accelerator research facility at Fermilab. Ground was broken today on the new facility, which will be part of Fermilab’s Illinois Accelerator Research Center (IARC) complex. The complex will be a state-of-the-art facility for research, development and industrialization of particle accelerator technology, creating 200 high-tech jobs.
“In Illinois we understand the importance of investing in cutting-edge technologies, which not only boosts our economy, but also secures our role as a major competitor in the global marketplace,” Governor Quinn said. “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.”
The IARC project is being funded jointly by the state of Illinois and the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science (DOE). Administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), $20 million in Illinois Jobs Now! capital funding was awarded to Fermilab for the design and construction of a new building that will form part of the IARC complex. 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 work space.
“The IARC facility will help fuel innovation by developing advanced technologies, strengthening ties with industry and training the scientists of tomorrow,” said William Brinkman, the director of the DOE’s Office of Science. “The Department of Energy welcomes the opportunity to partner with the state of Illinois and looks forward to seeing IARC come to fruition.”
On behalf of Governor Quinn, DCEO Director Warren Ribley joined DOE and Fermilab officials today at the IARC groundbreaking ceremony to announce funding from the Governor’s capital program for the project.
“The IARC facility positions Illinois at the forefront of the world-wide effort to develop cutting-edge accelerator technologies,” said Director Ribley. “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 IARC is expected to create 200 new high-tech jobs and will be located in the heart of the industrial area of the Fermilab campus in Batavia. The facility will provide 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 complex will help develop private industry partnerships for the commercial and industrial application of accelerator technology for energy and the environment, medicine, industry, national security and discovery science. The IARC will also offer unique advanced educational opportunities to a new generation of Illinois engineers and scientists and will help attract top scientists from around the world.
“A focused effort and strengthened partnerships between government and industry is 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.”
Today’s particle accelerators address many of the challenges confronting the U.S. 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. The IARC will be utilized as incubator space for emerging accelerator technologies, providing a central point for cutting-edge accelerator research and industrialization.
“This is an exciting project for the state. It links our research capability with businesses in Illinois and will help boost innovation while bringing much needed jobs to Illinoisans,” said State Rep. Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago).
As part of his continued commitment to boosting innovation in Illinois, Governor Quinn launched the Illinois Innovation Council (www.IllinoisInnovation.com) in February to ensure the state remains on the cutting-edge in the global economy. The council is actively working to promote the role and importance of innovation in economic development and quality of life; convene and partner with academic, business and governments to evaluate and recommend initiatives to improve support for innovation, and align public and private resources.