About IIFC

U.S.-India Discovery Science Collaboration

The Indian Institutions and Fermilab Collaboration (IIFC) has established a successful U.S.-India agreement on the joint design and construction of future physics and accelerator projects for respective domestic programs. The IIFC works with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop world-class Intensity Frontier physics research facilities at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and accelerator projects at Indian Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) laboratories. These efforts will also enable U.S. and Indian companies to capture a significant share of the next-generation accelerator technology market by collaborating with the Illinois Accelerator Research Center at Fermilab and seizing business opportunities in India and elsewhere.

The Indian DAE has agreed to make significant in-kind contributions, valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, toward a new accelerator and physics research program at Fermilab in return for the joint development of the required accelerator and detector technology for physics and two accelerator projects in India.

While U.S. industry would like to play major roles in the Indian accelerator projects, they face tough competition from Europe, China and Japan. A close U.S.-India collaboration helps U.S. companies tremendously and is essential for the success of these large accelerator projects.

The IIFC, founded in 2006, develops the accelerator technologies that are critical to the accelerator plans of both the U.S. DOE and the Indian DAE. Fermilab also collaborates with U.S. industry on these accelerator technologies. Together, these efforts meet U.S. and Indian interests in technologies that are crucial to future accelerator projects and promise to have applications in discovery science, industry, energy production, medicine and other fields that rely on accelerator technology.

In the United States, the IIFC participates in Fermilab’s plans to upgrade its accelerator complex through the construction of a new half-mile-long accelerator known as PIP-II/PIP-III. This accelerator will allow Fermilab to create a world-class research program at the Intensity Frontier of particle physics, especially neutrino physics. India has signed up as the first dedicated international project partner, which is a major step toward attracting other international partners. PIP-II will also pave the way to future international collaborations on a future Energy Frontier accelerator, which would rely on the same accelerator technology as PIP-II. Fermilab is also developing a neutrino physics program at the Intensity Frontier.

The central technology for these accelerators is known as superconducting radio-frequency (SRF) acceleration, which has applications in many fields. Indian laboratories would like to have their scientific and engineering staffs participate fully in the R&D, construction and commissioning phases of PIP-II to develop their own capabilities.

In India, the IIFC and its development of SRF technologies are important for the Indian DAE and its plans for constructing not one but two SRF accelerators in the next 10 years for material science, energy and medical applications. These plans are part of the Indian 12th national plan.

The IIFC enables scientists in the United States and India to jointly develop and optimize the technologies for these two SRF accelerators. U.S. manufacturers would have an edge over competitors in Europe and Japan as they are learning these accelerator technologies from Fermilab.