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U.S. Department of Energy Awards Contract for Management and Operation of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC

November 1, 2006 - 9:25am


BATAVIA, ILLINOIS -- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a new $1.575 billion, five-year contract for management and operation of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL) to the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC (FRA), owned jointly by the University of Chicago (UChicago) and Universities Research Association, Inc. (URA).

"The quality of the new contract is a direct consequence of the competition process," DOE Under Secretary for Science Dr. Raymond L. Orbach said today at a ceremony at Fermilab where he made the announcement of the contractor.  "The partnership between UChicago and URA will enhance organizational depth and capability, promising improvements in performance and accountability."

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert also participated in the ceremony.

As a new independent entity, 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.

UChicago and URA bring a combined 100 years of experience in the management and oversight of DOE laboratories which, when combined with the contributions of Illinois' leading research universities, will provide a strong foundation for continued US leadership in high energy physics and offer a strong team for attracting the International Linear Collider (ILC) to the U.S.

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 leaders.  FRA provides DOE with single-point accountability at the corporate level for laboratory performance, oversees the Laboratory Director and his management team, and ensures that FNAL has the capabilities needed for its scientific mission.

Under the new contract, FRA has designated industrial partner EG&G/URS as a subcontractor to provide business management, environmental, health and safety and quality assurance capabilities and resources needed to deliver the most science per taxpayer dollar.

The FRA proposal to DOE contained 28 new initiatives aimed at improving corporate governance and resources, attracting the proposed ILC to the lab, attracting world-class scientists and engineers, strengthening communication and collaboration between FNAL, ANL and the high energy physics community, and improving management, assessment and performance.  Within these initiatives, FRA proposed the establishment of centers for advanced accelerator and physics research and the creation of a center for analyzing data from the Large Hadron Collider which will leverage FNAL's state-of-the-art Feynman and Grid Computing Centers.

FRA, together with its designated subcontractor and the leading Illinois research universities, has pledged 19 commitments totaling $12.1 million over the term of the five-year contract, primarily to enhance mission support, business operations and educational development.

The new contract contains a number of provisions intended to provide incentives for outstanding performance.  The contract contains award term provisions under which the department may recognize outstanding performance through phased extensions of the contract for up to a total of 20 years, if the contractor meets specific performance levels established by DOE.  The contract also contains incentive fee provisions under which FRA can earn a maximum total fee 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 initial contract term will be January 1, 2007, to December 31, 2011.

Media contact(s):

Sandra Geib, (630) 252-2420
Jeff Sherwood, (202) 586-5806