Press Releases

WASHINGTON – Today, Virginia lawmakers gathered at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) to celebrate the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s meritorious selection of Jefferson Lab as the Hub Director for the new High Performance Data Facility (HPDF) – a scientific user facility that will specialize in advanced infrastructure for data-intensive science. The project to build the HPDF Hub will be a partnership between Jefferson Lab and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), with the two labs forming a joint project team led by Jefferson Lab and charged to create an integrated HPDF Hub design.

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine and their colleagues have worked tirelessly to engage the DOE, stress the extent of Jefferson Lab’s capabilities and potential for growth, and best position Virginia to be selected to host the HPDF. As part of this effort, the lawmakers worked with the General Assembly and Governor Youngkin to secure over $40 million in Commonwealth funds for the planning and construction of a shell building to house the HPDF – a bipartisan feat that demonstrated Virginia’s extraordinary support of Jefferson Lab’s mission and commitment to this project.

The High Performance Data Facility is envisioned as a national resource that will serve as the foundation for advancing DOE’s ambitious Integrated Research Infrastructure (IRI) program, which aims to provide researchers the ability to seamlessly meld DOE’s unique data resources, experimental user facilities, and advanced computing resources to accelerate the pace of discovery. The mission of the HPDF will be to enable and accelerate scientific discovery by delivering state-of-the-art data management infrastructure, capabilities, and tools. The HPDF will provide a crucial national resource for artificial intelligence (AI) research, opening new approaches for the nation’s researchers to attack fundamental problems in science and engineering that require nimble, shared access to large data sets, and real-time analysis of streamed data from experiments. DOE is the leading producer of scientific data in the world, and the HPDF will deliver a platform for a broad spectrum of data-intensive research as we enter the era of exascale supercomputing and exascale data.

Today’s news follows an announcement last year by Sens. Warner and Kaine that over $76 million in federal funding was headed to Jefferson Lab for project support and infrastructure upgrades. Those investments were made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, which passed by one vote and was supported by both senators.

“The selection of Jefferson Lab as the location and lead of the High Performance Data Facility is a monumental win for the Lab, Hampton Roads, and the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA). “Since my days as Governor, I have pushed to broaden the mission and responsibilities of Jefferson Lab to reflect the current needs of our nation. Today’s announcement is a massive step towards realizing the goal of diversifying the mission of Jefferson Lab by providing the Lab with a critical national resource that will be used to tackle fundamental problems in science and engineering, including artificial intelligence research. I’m thankful for Secretary Granholm and the Department of Energy’s commitment to ensuring the U.S. can pave the way for the next generation of advanced data management and for providing Jefferson Lab the opportunity to lead this world-class project. I look forward to working with Jefferson Lab, the Department of Energy, and my colleagues in advancing this project as quickly as possible and look forward to seeing the innumerable scientific advancements that are sure to follow.”

“Jefferson Lab’s designation as the leader of the High Performance Data Facility is a powerful recognition of the contributions Virginians make to the research we need to remain at the cutting-edge of technological innovation,” said U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA). “I’m proud to have helped advocate for this designation, and for years have gone to bat through the annual government funding process to support Jefferson Lab’s work. I will continue to do all that I can to secure the resources Virginia scientists need to advance America’s competitiveness and supercomputing capabilities.”

“From Day One of my Administration, we’ve been working with leaders in our delegation, in our General Assembly, and at Jefferson Lab to secure the High Performance Data Facility, an asset that will accelerate research driven economic development in the Commonwealth. I was proud to work with General Assembly leaders to make a $40 million investment to help land this prize that will catalyze our economy for decades to come. Our Administration will continue to support the cutting-edge technological research that has established the Commonwealth as a nationwide leader in innovation,” said Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin.

“We are honored to be selected by the DOE’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research program to lead this project,” said Jefferson Lab Director Stuart Henderson. “Building on our extensive experience with large data sets and high performance computing, and our new and ongoing partnerships exploring state-of-the-art approaches to data and data science, we will build a new facility that will revolutionize the way we make scientific discoveries.”

“Today’s announcement is great news for all those committed to innovation and scientific discovery. Since its founding, Jefferson Lab (JLab) has established itself as a world-leader in nuclear physics research while building acumen in the computing realm to manage, store, and interpret data. These two areas of expertise have proven synergistic and advanced the lab’s mission. The location of the High Performance Data Facility will create new opportunities at Jefferson Lab and in Hampton Roads while bringing JLab’s expertise to bear for the entire network of National Labs,” said Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03).

“I am thrilled to see Jefferson Lab selected as the Hub Director for the Department of Energy’s High Performance Data Facility,” Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) said. “Jefferson Lab is a leader in nuclear research, and these investments will unlock vital data science advancements for the Hampton Roads region, the Commonwealth, and our nation. I am proud to have advocated for this important investment alongside my colleagues at the local, state, and federal levels over the years, and I look forward to the future developments that will follow the completion of this critical project.”

“Jefferson Lab’s High Performance Data Facility is a once-in-a-generation initiative that will catapult Newport News and the Commonwealth to the international frontlines of data analytics and advanced computing,” said Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones. “This revolutionary facility will transform scientific research and discovery. In addition to workforce and economic development impacts, there are innumerable opportunities for higher education, research, STEM learning, and commercial investments. This exciting new project, coupled with Jefferson Lab’s already robust scientific and educational offerings, will make Newport News an even greater hub of innovation and research.”

“This project will be one of the greatest economic development projects to come to Newport News in recent memory,” said State Senator Monty Mason, who represents Jefferson Lab as Senator of the 1st District. “As a steadfast advocate on the state level, I am proud to have secured critical state funding for the planning and preparation of this project. The city and the entire peninsula will be strengthened by this facility, bringing 100s of new jobs with salaries well over the region's median income, boosting our local economy, and further solidifying the Virginia peninsula as a leader in science innovation.”

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of collaboration between members of the Virginia General Assembly and our federal delegation to bring a High Performance Data Facility to Jefferson Lab. As Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, I am excited that the Commonwealth’s investment will leverage between $300 million to $500 million in federal funds for this transformative opportunity,” said State Delegate and Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Barry Knight.

“The investments made today by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Commonwealth of Virginia into the High-Performance Data Facility mark the beginning of an unparalleled chapter for the laboratory and the wider educational community,” emphasized Dr. Sean J. Hearne, President and CEO of the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA). “This cutting-edge research facility serves as a gateway to explore the rapidly expanding realm of data science, offering extensive research and educational opportunities that are poised to redefine our world.”

“The Friends of Jefferson Lab, a coalition of business leaders spanning from Richmond to the oceanfront, are delighted Jefferson Lab has been chosen as the site for the high performance data facility,” said Alan Witt, Chair of Friends of JLab. “Jefferson Lab is a vital asset to Hampton Roads and the addition of this facility will add greatly to the economic, scientific, and educational fabric of the Virginia Peninsula, Hampton Roads, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Specifically, the HPDF will have a “hub-and-spoke” model in which Jefferson Lab and LBNL will host mirrored centralized resources. It will enable high priority DOE mission applications at “spoke” sites by deploying and orchestrating distributed infrastructure at the spokes or other locations. Under Jefferson Lab’s leadership, the Jefferson Lab/LBNL partnership will assemble a world class HPDF Hub project team to deliver a geographically resilient and innovative HPDF core infrastructure capable of meeting the needs of a wide diversity of users, institutions, and use cases. This Jefferson Lab-led partnership will itself provide the template for the first spokes partnerships and blaze new paths in institutional engagement and outreach in the emerging era of AI- enabled integrated science.

As identified in the DOE’s Mission Need Statement for the High Performance Data Facility approved August 2020, DOE anticipates that the total project cost of the HPDF project, including the hub and spokes, will be between $300 million and $500 million in current and future year funds, subject to the availability of future year appropriations.