Iwate Prefectural Government releases its vision for regional development around the ILC

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo (August 10th edition). Read the original here.

The Iwate Prefectural Government has established a vision for regional development in hopes that the ILC project comes to fruition. Within the vision are concepts for the establishment of a hub for technological innovation, systems for renewable energy that will use waste heat from the ILC, and a one-stop support desk for foreign researchers moving to the area. Should the national government decide to host the ILC, the Iwate government will quickly begin work on these concepts, and push them forth systematically in the long-term.

The vision is categorized into the following:
▽Supporting the creation of an international city of research
▽Birthing new innovations (technological innovations)
▽Creating an more environmentally-friendly society
▽Establish an environment that welcomes foreign researchers
▽Increase the amount of people with ties to the region, and improve standards of science and technical education
A schedule was established in three phases: four years for preparation, nine years for the ILC’s construction, and two to three years for operations.

The advanced technology used at the ILC will able to be applied to a wide variety of other fields. The prefecture is planning a “Kitakami Region Innovation Center for the Accelerator-Related Industry” to encourage researchers, engineers, and local businesses to work together to apply those technologies as well as to increase the accumulation of related businesses in the area. Work will begin during the preparation phase, and operations will begin during the ILC’s construction.

The “Green ILC” concept was also emphasized as a way to enable communities to make use of energy produced locally and sustainably. Systems will be built that will allow normal households to use energy given off from the ILC’s cooling processes. Also, other facilities adjacent to the ILC will work proactively to use renewable energy for heating as well as make use of Iwate’s lumber resources.

As the ILC is built, an estimated 30,000 foreign residents will come to live in the area over 20 years, including researchers living close by, and construction workers and operators. An international support office will be built during the construction phase, complete with a one-stop service desk that will support a smooth move to the area. In education, discussions will also proceed regarding an “Iwate-style International School” where students will learn a variety of different subjects, including advanced science and disaster risk reduction.

The ILC will be an international research facility for particle physics, seeking to unlock the mysteries of the origins of the universe. The Kitakami mountains in Iwate have been selected as the world’s leading candidate site, and the Japanese national government is currently deliberating on whether or not to host the project.

On August 19, Iwate Prefecture will establish an ILC Promotion Headquarters (head: Governor of Iwate Takuya Tasso) with the heads of each of its governmental departments and bureaus. They will work to make the ILC vision a concrete reality.

Jun Sasaki, director general of the Bureau of ILC Promotion said, “As we keep a close eye on both domestic and international developments of the ILC, we will work to steadily make our projects come to fruition.”