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[en] INFN-LNL is constructing an ISOL (Isotope Separation On Line) facility delivering neutron rich ion beams at 10 A MeV or beyond, making use of the linear accelerator ALPI as the secondary accelerator. The facility includes a direct ISOL target based on UC_x and able to reach 10"1"3 fissions/s. In parallel, an applied physics facility will be developed, with applications in medicine and neutron production. The SPES project is a national facility, approved and funded. Commissioning with the first exotic species is expected in 2019. The primary accelerator is a commercial cyclotron, which will send a 40 MeV, 200 μA proton beam onto an UC_x target, connected to SIS, PIS and LIS ion sources. The extracted beam is purified through a Low Resolution Mass Separator (LMRS, i.e. a Wien filter and a dispersive dipole), a beam cooler and a High Resolution Mass Separator (HRMS) and sent to an ECR charge breeder to boost the exotic beam charge state. The highly charged exotic beam is further separated in a MRMS (Medium Resolution Mass Separator) and injected into a 100% duty cycle RFQ and into the existing superconducting linac ALPI, which will be refurbished and upgraded to be an efficient exotic beam accelerator. The upgrade of ALPI will give ∼10 A MeV energy to "1"3"2Sn"1"9"+, taken as the reference ion beam. The paper presents the status of the design and construction of the SPES facility.