WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry awarded a five-year, $1.73 billion new contract to Stanford University to manage and operate SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, CA. The award continues Stanford’s record as contractor for the management and operations (M&O) contract for the laboratory, which has been operated by the University since its founding in 1962. 

An internationally recognized center for scientific research, SLAC is one of 17 national laboratories operated by DOE and is focused on some of the country’s most important scientific and technological priorities. 

“SLAC is one of the linchpins in our amazing network of National Laboratories,” said Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “SLAC’s particle research, deep space telescopy, and Nobel laureate work underscore the magnitude of what the Lab contributes to our scientific knowledge. Management of SLAC’s enviable research enterprise and world class facilities requires the highest level of performance and competency. Stanford has continued to meet and exceed our expectations, and we look forward to continuing that partnership.”

The new contract contains a number of innovative provisions recommended in response to the Department’s Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories instruction to identify opportunities to use improved contracting mechanisms to more effectively and efficiently manage the national laboratories.  The DOE has engaged with Stanford to pilot a number of these new mechanisms.

The contract term will be from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2022.  For FY 2016, the total value of the contract was a little over $470 million, which includes approximately $16 million from multiple non-DOE sponsors.

Scientists at SLAC conduct research in a range of fields important to the Energy Department’s missions, including particle physics; accelerator science and technology; large-scale user facilities; advanced instrumentation and detection; condensed-matter physics and materials science; chemical and molecular science; and plasma and fusion energy science.

SLAC operates three major DOE Office of Science User Facilities—the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), and the Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Tests (FACET).  The laboratory hosts nearly 2,800 guest researchers from around the world each year.  More than 340 universities and research institutes make use of SLAC resources. Thirty companies use the laboratory’s X-ray facilities for research aimed at developing medicines and other products. SLAC is also leading construction of the largest digital camera ever built for astronomy (the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, or LSST) and is participating in data management for the project.

Four Nobel prizes have been awarded for research at SLAC that discovered two fundamental particles, proved protons are made of quarks, and showed how DNA directs protein manufacturing in cells.  Under Stanford’s stewardship, SLAC continues to make critical contributions to the Nation through real-time observations of chemical reactions at the molecular level; understanding how proteins function to aid development of medications for melanoma, flu and HIV and the fight against Ebola, high blood pressure, and other illnesses; and improving materials for computer chips, jet planes, refinery operations, and “smart windows” that automatically adjust the amount of light coming in.

DOE's Office of Science is responsible for the stewardship of SLAC.  For more information about the Office of Science and SLAC, please visit science.energy.gov.

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