Strategic Plan

SNOLAB is a world-class deep underground science facility based at the operational Vale Creighton nickel mine, near Sudbury, Ontario in Canada. The combination of great depth, at 2km SNOLAB is the deepest large-scale international facility in the world, and cleanliness that SNOLAB affords allows extremely rare interactions and weak processes to be studied. This strategic plan details the vision, mission and goals of the SNOLAB facility in developing the required infrastructure to undertake these science objectives, and to help SNOLAB foster, support and spearhead the science programmes. The plan covers the period between 2012 and 2017 when SNOLAB construction will be complete and the initial science programme is being realised.

The science programme at SNOLAB is currently focussed on sub-atomic physics. This follows the great success of the original SNO detector operated at the SNOLAB site, which resolved the ‘solar neutrino’ problem and provided categorical evidence that new physics existed beyond the standard model of particle physics. The current programme continues to study the elusive neutrino and also searches for the unidentified dark matter that constitutes some 23% of the Universe. Additional science strands are currently under development, linking into the wider underground physics community, including geology, mining and deep sub-surface life.

There are several intended audiences for this document. The strategic plan will guide SNOLAB management in the prioritisation of resource use, allowing a focus on projects that align with the strategic aims of the SNOLAB community. The plan is owned by the SNOLAB Institute Board and will provide a benchmarking document for oversight, to assess the effectiveness of the facility and the management team. Finally the entire SNOLAB community drives the strategic direction and so this document provides a vehicle for engagement and alignment with our community.

The vision of SNOLAB is to be the partner of choice for underground physics projects, providing world-class infrastructure and thereby delivering world-class science. To realise this vision our mission is to enable, spearhead, catalyze and promote underground science, whilst inspiring both the public and future professionals in the field.

To deliver the mission and place SNOLAB in a position to realise the long-term vision, four goals have been identified, with associated objectives and critical success factors. These goals focus on the four key areas and strengths of SNOLAB: the science programme, the facility infrastructure, the staff and community working to deliver the programme, and the development of the quality delivery systems required to do so. These four goals are:

  • Enable and spearhead world-class underground science
  • Develop and maintain world-class facilities and infrastructure
  • Educate, inspire and innovate
  • Develop quality delivery systems of internationally recognised standard

This strategic plan also enunciates the ambitions of the SNOLAB facility, through development of the opportunities that arise within the science community that SNOLAB supports, through development of the SNOLAB infrastructure, and through development of longer term strategic planning by our stake-holding partners. SNOLAB looks forward to an exciting future contributing to the underground science community.


Full document available here.