New Effort Focuses on Developing Novel “Compact” Accelerators

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a plan to provide $10 million for efforts to advance particle accelerator technology for medical, security, energy, and industrial applications.

The awards are aimed specifically at helping transform sophisticated accelerator technology used primarily for scientific research into an effective tool of medicine and industry—with special emphasis on the development of novel “compact” accelerator technologies for cancer treatment and other applications.

“Particle accelerators were developed mainly for scientific research, but have come to be indispensable tools of medicine, industry, national security, and many others,” said Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar. “This research helps to ensure that both government and the private sector benefit from the very latest advances in accelerator technology.”

Funded under the Accelerator Stewardship program within the DOE Office of Science, research to date has helped reduce the cost and improve the quality of cancer therapy, advance non-chemical methods of destroying pathogens and toxic chemicals, and enhance security operations at border checkpoints. 

Today’s initiative includes a new topic focused on the development of novel compact accelerators—ranging in size from several meters down to tabletop scale—that is believed will help make valuable accelerator technologies less expensive and more widely available. 

Research is closely coordinated with multiple program offices within DOE and with other federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation, all of which have their own interest in various applications of accelerator technology.

Applications will be open to universities, DOE national laboratories, nonprofits, and private firms. Funding is to be awarded competitively, based on peer review, and is expected to be in the form of one- to three-year awards ranging from $75,000 to $1,000,000 per year, beginning this fiscal year.

Total planned funding is $10 million over three years, including $5 million in fiscal year 2020 dollars, with outyear funding contingent on congressional appropriations.

A DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement for universities, nonprofits, and private firms, and a parallel, companion announcement for DOE national laboratories, along with a Frequently Asked Questions document, may be found HERE.