Anderson Economic Group Work

Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) Economic Impact Michigan State University, U.S. Department of Energy

On December 11, 2008 the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) announced that Michigan State University was awarded a $55 million grant to build a Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB). MSU’s most notable competition for the facility was the Argonne National Laboratory, located near Chicago, Illinois.

The FRIB will produce and explore rare and unstable isotopes so that scientists may better understand cosmic events and nucleic properties that could lead to medical applications and breakthroughs in materials science. The facility will be at least 1,000 times more powerful than the 20-year old machines currently in operation at MSU’s National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory.

During the proposal process, Michigan State University commissioned Anderson Economic Group (AEG) to quantify the economic and fiscal impact of a Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) on the state of Michigan. Our analysis concluded that the FRIB project is a rare opportunity for the State of Michigan to lock in a very large stream of future earnings and anchor a high-tech center. We estimated that the total economic activity associated with the FRIB will exceed $1 billion over the initial decade. We also confirmed that new tax revenue the state would earn on construction and operation of the FRIB over a twenty year period is over $187 million.

Unlike nearly every other project for which we have completed economic impact analyses, in this case the likely alternative to this project is nothing like it in Michigan for the next 20 years. Therefore, landing the project for Michigan will indeed cause the state to earn additional jobs, income, and state tax revenue for decades to come. Because the FRIB would support a comparative advantage of the state in high-tech and physics research, locating it here will also induce other high-wage employment throughout the state.

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