Director's Corner

ILC Preparatory Laboratory proposal released

| 1 June 2021

Image: Rey. Hori

Artist’s impression of the ILC. Image: Rey. Hori

The ILC International Development Team (IDT) was established by the International Committee for Future Accelerator (ICFA) in August 2020, to prepare the ILC Preparatory Laboratory (Pre-lab) that would complete the technical development and engineering preparation for the International Linear Collider project to be ready for construction.  During the same period, governmental authorities of interested nations are expected to forge an agreement on the sharing of the cost and responsibilities for the construction and operation of the ILC facility and on the organisational structure and governance of the ILC Laboratory.

After ten months of work, the IDT has achieved the first major milestone of completing the ILC Pre-lab proposal, which outlines the organisational framework, an implementation model and work plan of the Pre-lab. Three working groups were the key players and an impressive number of people have been contributing to this effort. Working Group 1 worked on the mandate, governance model, organisational structure and Pre-lab start-up procedure. Working Group 2 identified necessary technical development and engineering preparation work for the ILC accelerator and site construction. Working Group 3 discussed a strategy for developing the compelling ILC physics programme. Then the Executive Board took the responsibility of compiling the document. It was very encouraging to see the growing number of participants in those activities.

The IDT activity now enters the next phase of implementing the steps for establishing the Pre-lab along the lines described in the proposal. The plan for the accelerator technical development and engineering preparation work needs to be further elaborated and people and laboratories with interest and expertise in the work must be identified. The physics community needs encouragement and support for further exploring the physics potential of the ILC and converging towards concrete designs of experiments. Discussion on the Pre-lab start-up process must be initiated among the world key laboratories.

An equally crucial factor now is to understand what kind of process is needed to achieve the establishment of the Pre-lab. Unlike the ILC itself, the Pre-lab activities will be driven at the level of laboratories rather than having a direct involvement of governmental authorities. For the managements of interested laboratories to engage seriously in the discussion of responsibility sharing for the Pre-lab activities, however, a signal from the Japanese government indicating its interest in hosting the ILC and supporting the Pre-lab would be required. In parallel, we will make further effort to gain more support for the ILC worldwide.

We will continue to do our best for the swift realisation of the Pre-lab. Exciting times are head of us all.

Read Full text of Proposal for the ILC Preparatory Laboratory (Pre-lab)

Alternative link (arXiv):


Tatsuya Nakada

Tatsuya Nakada (EPFL) is the Chair of Executive Board in the ILC International Development Team.
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