DOE to award $22 million for cross-cutting accelerator R&D

February 22, 2022, 7:02AMNuclear News
Instrumentation at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source, an accelerator-based facility that provides the most intense pulsed neutron beams in the world for scientific research and industrial development. (Photo: ORNL)

Researchers advancing particle accelerator technology for medical, security, energy, and industrial applications have a new funding opportunity announced on February 16 by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DOE-SC). The funding will support research to advance particle accelerator technology for medical, security, energy, and industrial applications. Grants will be awarded for work focused on innovation, technology transfer, and supply chain resiliency that falls under one of two DOE-SC programs: the Accelerator Stewardship program, which supports cross-disciplinary teams to solve high-impact problems, and the Accelerator Development program, which is aimed at strengthening domestic suppliers of accelerator technology.

Scope and mission: Research funded by the Accelerator Stewardship program aims to address technological barriers that inhibit the use of accelerator technology and to facilitate access to DOE accelerator R&D capabilities. R&D teams are expected to combine interdisciplinary expertise across technologies and across sectors, including national laboratories, universities, and industry.

Research funded by the Accelerator Development program will address supply chain risks in accelerator technologies for next-generation scientific facilities and industrial applications. Partnerships between the public and private sectors will be funded to strengthen the accelerator technology capabilities of domestic industry, with a focus on strengthening production capabilities and enhancing knowledge and technology transfer.

Accelerator R&D funded to date may lead to reductions in cost and improvements in the quality of cancer therapy, increase the speed of laser-based scientific research by 1,000 times, reduce the cost of nonchemical methods of destroying pathogens and toxic chemicals, and enhance national security, according to DOE-SC.

He said it: “Particle accelerator technology drives many of today’s scientific instruments,” said Steve Binkley, acting director of the Office of Science. “These investments will advance the technology for a new generation of research instruments and apply the gains to broader applications in medicine, industry, security, and the environment through partnerships with industry.”

More information: Multiple one- to three-year grant awards ranging from $50,000 to $1,000,000 are expected to total $22 million over three years, with future-year funding contingent on congressional appropriations. A preapplication response is required by March 15, and the submission deadline for applications is April 26. The DOE’s funding opportunity announcement is available here.

Program-specific accelerator science and technology research and development is supported though FOAs issued by each DOE-SC program. A recently announced $18 million funding opportunity for accelerator science and technology for nuclear physics research is open to applications through April 8.

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