Projects to Benefit Medicine, Industrial Applications, and Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $8 million in funding for 12 research awards on a range of topics in both basic and use-inspired research in particle accelerator science and technology.

Projects include work to develop faster methods of applying ion beams to help cure cancer, increase the power of ultrafast lasers, improve technology for industrial-scale accelerators, and research new methods of acceleration.

“Particle accelerators have become vital tools today not only for science, but also for medicine, industry, and national security,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.  “These projects will keep the United States in the forefront of this critical technology, with multiple benefits for America’s health, prosperity, and security as a nation.”

Originally developed by scientists in the last century to study the subatomic world, particle accelerators have become central to applications such as the treatment of cancer, the assurance of food safety through sterilization, and even the detection of bombs and terrorist threats.  It is estimated that approximately 10,000 particle accelerators are currently operating in the United States at hospitals, universities, national laboratories, and industrial facilities.

The current awards were made under the DOE Office of Science’s Accelerator Stewardship program. The DOE program is closely coordinated with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation to ensure a federal-government-wide investment strategy in accelerator science and technology that provides maximum impact for taxpayer dollars and benefits both science and society.

In total, the projects involve scientists at 30 U.S. institutions, including 12 universities, 8 national laboratories, and 8 companies. These experts are working together to solve some of the most challenging problems in medical, industrial, and national security applications of accelerator technology.

This year’s projects were selected by competitive peer review under the DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement for Research Opportunities in Accelerator Stewardship, sponsored by the Office of High Energy Physics within the DOE Office of Science.

Total funding is $8 million for projects lasting up to three years in duration. The list of projects and more information can be found here.