Inertial Fusion Energy Collaboratory Formed

September 22, 2022

An Inertial Fusion Energy Collaboratory has been formed to foster public-private partnerships (PPP) between private companies and government laboratories participating in collaborations. A web site has been established (https://events.bizzabo.com/RFI-IFE/home) that describes the Collaboratory and contains a request for interest (RFI) to assess private industry interest in accessing fusion-relevant capabilities, expertise and intellectual property available within this Collaboratory of DOE-funded institutions.

These PPPs could be fully private sector funded, fully public sector funded through traditional government R&D programs, or jointly funded through a combination of public and private sector funds, such as through potential government sponsored milestone programs with cost share. The RFI (https://events.bizzabo.com/RFI-IFE/page/2309348/rfi, also posted on sam.gov at: https://sam.gov/opp/90b8a9fa3b4f46639a8b4a3393c6a1aa/view) provides information on capabilities the Collaboratory members aim to make available for partnerships, as well as the criteria for partnership selection. The intent of the RFI is to solicit private sector responses to help inform a planned online (virtual) Industry Day event on October 27 and follow-on events where public and private sector members can meet to further the development of potential work packages and statement of works (SOWs) for rapid contractual mechanisms such as expedited Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs).

Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE) is one of the principal approaches being explored around the world for large-scale fusion power generation and has the potential to leverage substantial US government investment and capabilities in related programs at the DOE’s National Laboratories and partner institutions.

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) are thus expected to play a critical role in IFE Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) and the potential commercialization of IFE. Although prior IFE-related science and technology have been nearly all government sponsored, significant private investments into IFE startups have commenced over the last several years and could grow, following the trend of escalating private investments in magnetic and magneto-inertial fusion energy that are now collectively in the multibillion-dollar scale over a number of years.

To facilitate PPPs for accelerating the development of IFE and solidifying US leadership in this critical energy technology of the future, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), as part of an informal "Collaboratory" of organizations and partners funded by the Department of Energy (currently including Los Alamos National Lab (LANL), Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) at the University of Rochester, Sandia National Lab (SNL), General Atomics (GA), and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC), with the intent to extend to other DOE funded institutions as appropriate), is releasing this request for information (RFI) for private-sector companies seeking to explore partnerships in IFE RD&D.