The development and construction of particle accelerators has led to many benefits to society. Beyond increasing scientists’ knowledge and understanding of physics and the cosmos, the new technologies developed through this work have applications beyond the world of physics. The particle acceleration technology at the core of the PIP-II project — superconducting radio frequency cavities made of niobium — also has promising applications in medicine, manufacturing and other fields.
Fermilab collaborates with partner organizations to explore various applications. This includes:
- mitigate drinking-water pollutants (in partnership with 3M),
- improve wastewater treatment (with Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago),
- improve the durability of pavement (with the US Army Corps of Engineers).
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is not merely an initiative for Fermilab, but rather is a driving principle for the lab and the people who work here. Every day Fermilab recruits, trains and develops some of the world’s top scientists and engineers. Some stay at Fermilab, and many go to other institutions and companies, where they drive innovation and mentor other researchers. The PIP-II team, including its international partners, is proud to play a key role in welcoming and leveraging the expertise of underrepresented minorities and women and in developing and inspiring tomorrow’s scientific and engineering leaders.
PIP-II construction is a tangible example of the commitment of the United States, Illinois and the Chicagoland area to remain at the forefront of scientific discovery. The development of PIP-II, LBNF and DUNE will have a multimillion-dollar economic impact in Illinois and South Dakota, according to a 2018 study by Anderson Economic Group.
The total PIP-II project cost, approved by the U.S. Department of Energy in December 2020, is $978 million. In addition, the project will receive international contributions worth approximately $310 million from India, the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Poland. Institutions from across the United States and around the globe contribute to PIP-II, LBNF and DUNE. The opportunity to build and test components for PIP-II has multiplying effects for international collaborators, who will gain expertise and develop capabilities in accelerator technology that can be applied in their home countries.
To construct the buildings and infrastructure needed for PIP-II, Fermilab expects to spend at least $170 million on construction in the Chicago region from 2021 to 2025. The project is expected to provide thousands of jobs over the 2021-2028 period.
Construction of the PIP-II Cryogenic Plant Building has already started. In addition to construction, procurements totaling approximately $160 million are planned for other materials and services provided by local, national and some international vendors. In 2021, PIP-II already paid $17 million to Illinois construction businesses and another $1.8 million to procure other goods and services from Illinois businesses. Of this amount, $730,000 went to small businesses.
Each dollar spent by Fermilab also has an indirect impact by supporting additional business activity, jobs and payroll. A detailed study of economic impacts is planned with a report expected in Fall 2021.