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$1.6B Fermilab Contract Awarded
Nov 2006
BATAVIA, Ill., Nov. 2, 2006 -- A company co-owned by the University of Chicago and Universities Research Association Inc. (URA) has received a new $1.6 billion, five-year contract to manage the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the US Department of Energy announced yesterday.

UChicago manages the Illinois-based Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). URA is a consortium of 90 research-oriented universities in the US, Canada, Japan and Italy that has managed Fermilab since its creation in 1967. They jointly own the independent company Fermi Research Alliance LLC (FRA), which received the Fermilab contract.

FRA is led by a board of directors chaired by UChicago President Robert Zimmer and comprised of university presidents and national and international science and industry representatives. FRA was supported in its proposal by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University, Northern Illinois University and the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Fermilab is considered one of the world's leading centers for scientific research in elementary particle physics and astrophysics. The laboratory has a staff of about 2000 employees on a 6800-acre site near Batavia, about 30 miles west of Chicago, and has an annual budget of approximately $316 million. Some 3000 scientists from 260 universities and laboratories in 37 states and 31 countries collaborate in Fermilab's experiments to explore the fundamental nature of matter, energy, space and time, as well as the origin, evolution, and destiny of the universe.

"This partnership will not only enhance the management of Fermilab, it will facilitate synergies between Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab in frontier research in particle physics, astrophysics and high-performance computing, as well as in launching major new programs such as the proposed International Linear Collider and the Rare Isotope Accelerator," said URA President Fred Bernthal.

FRA, together with its subcontractor and Illinois research university partners, has pledged a total of $12.1 million over the five-year contract, to be used primarily to enhance mission support, business operations and educational development, the DoE said. 

The initial contract term will be Jan. 1, 2007, to Dec. 31, 2011, which, with performance incentives, could be extended another 15 years. FRA could also earn a maximum of up to $3.55 million a year for outstanding performance during the initial five-year term and the first five years of any award term extensions, the DoE said.

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