The partners of the ‘ILC-HiGrade’ proposal for the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme have just started a contract for five million Euros funding over the next four years with the European Commission. ‘ILC-HiGrade’ stands for ‘International Linear Collider and High Gradient Superconducting RF-Cavities.’ One of the main objectives of the proposal is a small serial production of accelerating cavities, superconducting components made of pure niobium for the planned International Linear Collider (ILC), that reach the high technical standards needed for the planned particle physics project. Other objectives of the ILC-HiGrade proposal are the development of a possible organisation and governance for the ILC and measures to prepare for the actual construction of the machine, including a detailed study on possible sites in Europe.
Six institutions have come together for the project: DESY (Germany), CEA (France), CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), CNRS/IN2P3 (France), INFN (Italy) and Oxford University (United Kingdom). All of these have already been involved in research and development for the ILC for many years and bundle the leading expertise in Europe in accelerator development and superconducting radiofrequency (SCRF). Combined with the partners’ decades of experience in international projects and organisations and close links to governments and funding agencies, ILC-HiGrade will help in finding the best governance scheme for the project. ILC-HiGrade builds on the experience European partners are gaining with the European X-Ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL), which uses the same accelerating technology. The consortium also makes optimum use of the existing infrastructures in Europe, including the test infrastructures in place at DESY for the future XFEL and a high-tech laboratory (Supratech) of CNRS and CEA at Orsay and Saclay, France.
“ILC-HiGrade means synergy at its best,” said Eckhard Elsen of DESY, project coordinator. “This contract is a huge step forward for Europe because of the coordinated approach to the siting question and optimum use of all resources.”
“The collaboration that has already been in place for many years has received a major boost,” added Brian Foster of Oxford University, European Regional Director for the ILC’s Global Design Effort, the organisation that manages the engineering efforts and R&D programme for the accelerator. “With the funding from the European Commission we can secure a leading role for Europe in the technology development of this exciting new project.”
The ILC is a proposed particle accelerator that could help answer some of mankind’s most fundamental questions, complementing the scientific results that scientists expect from the Large Hadron Collider LHC that will start operation this summer at CERN in Geneva. Consisting of two linear accelerators that face each other, the ILC will hurl some 10 billion electrons and their anti-particles, positrons, toward each other at nearly the speed of light. It will stretch approximately 31 kilometres in length. Inside the ILC, particles will collide 14,000 times every second at energies of 500 billion-electron-volts (GeV). The current baseline design allows for an upgrade to a 50-kilometre, 1 trillion-electron-volt (TeV) machine during the second stage of the project.
The ILC is one of the projects identified by the ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) roadmap as an important project for the future of science in Europe.
Perrine Royole-Degieux, ILC-Europe, +33-6-74-11-73-78, firstname.lastname@example.org
Barbara Warmbein, ILC-Europe, +40-170-3346816, email@example.com
- on the International Linear Collider: www.linearcollider.org
- on the ILC-HiGrade project: www.ilc-higrade.eu