International Collaboration in the Construction of Future Large Accelerator Projects

6 May 1993

International Collaboration in the Construction of Future Large Accelerator Projects

The International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) has considered international collaboration in the construction of future large accelerator projects. In this context, large refers to a facility which is unique in its scientific potential, which is open to international exploitation of its physics, and at most only one will be built in the world.

ICFA’s conclusions are as follows:

  1. Future large accelerator projects should be planned, designed, and when appropriate, also built in international collaboration.
  2. All future large accelerator facilities should be open to scientists and research teams from all countries, following the ICFA guidelines.
  3. It is strongly encouraged that research and development work on future large accelerators be carried out in international collaboration before a project is defined. This kind of collaboration should also be open to institutions or countries which would not, or not yet, intend to participate later in the construction of the project.
  4. To establish an international collaboration, appropriate coordinating and advisory committees must be set up in an early phase, and the governments of countries expected to participate should be kept informed. It should, however, be the aim of the scientific community to formulate a rather concrete proposal, including a realistic cost estimate and site-criteria, before the governments are approached in a formal way.

The Committee considered several possible modes of collaboration on a future large accelerator project. They are listed in the Appendix.


International collaboration can be organized, depending on the size of the project, according to one of the following models:

  • National or regional facilities:

    They should be built and operated by the host country or host region. The planning, project definition and the choice of the parameters should be done in international collaboration.

  • "Larger" facilities which cannot be funded by one country/region:

    Here the host country or region should seek contributions for the construction from other countries or institutes. These contributions should preferably be provided in components or subsystems. The facility should again be planned and defined internationally. The operation should be the responsibility of the host country. (This is essentially the so-called HERA-model.)

  • Very large projects needing a collaboration of several countries with comparable share of the total construction and operation costs:

    In this model the participating countries should make their contributions again through components or subsystems in a similar way as large collaborations building jointly a major detector facility. A facility under this model would be the common property of the participating countries or laboratories. They would also share the responsibility and the costs for the operation. The staff for the operation would also come from the participating countries. To set up this type of collaboration, governmental agreements are expected to be needed.

  • Very large projects in the frame of an international organization:

    This type of collaboration is characterized by common funding for the construction and for the operation of large projects. CERN is a prominent example.