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CSU scores public-private deal to build advanced laser facility

FORT COLLINS — A public-private partnership between Colorado State University and Marvel Fusion will result in a $150 million venture to build a laser and fusion research lab at the CSU Foothills Campus.

In a press statement, the university said that the lab will be among the most powerful laser facilities in the world “and an international epicenter for research into inertial fusion energy, lasers and photonics, and high energy density physics.”

The deal has yet to be finalized by the CSU Board of Governors, the press statement said.

“CSU has been at the forefront of laser research for many years, and this new partnership would cement the university as an international leader in an area of laser science that has the potential to deliver profound benefits to our planet for generations,” Amy Parsons, CSU president, said in a written statement. “The project aims to open up new avenues of research and exploration for students and faculty, and drive meaningful, long-term benefits to Fort Collins and the state.”

Marvel Fusion Inc. is a private company based in Munich, Germany. It is working to commercialize fusion energy through its laser technology. The lab is envisioned to serve as a platform to advance the company’s fusion approach and its potential as a new source of reduced carbon power.

“This public-private partnership sets the global standard for laser-based fusion research, propelling the development of a safe, clean, and reliable energy source. It is an incredible step forward for Marvel Fusion and a testament to our success and vision,” Moritz von der Linden, CEO of Marvel Fusion, said in a written statement. “Working with the world-class team at CSU over the past two years has been invaluably productive. We are immensely grateful for the trust and support of CSU, the state of Colorado, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s ongoing support through the LaserNetUS program.”

CSU is a member of LaserNetUS, a program funded by the DOE’s Office of Fusion Energy Sciences. The DOE recently provided $12.5M in additional funding to CSU for laser upgrade prototyping and increased LaserNetUS support.

The new lab is targeted for completion in 2026 and will feature at least three laser systems, “each with a multi-petawatt peak power and an ultra-fast repetition rate of 10 flashes per second. Such a combination of lasers would make the facility unique in the world,” the university said. The lab will be built for expansion; it will be near CSU’s existing Advanced Beam Laboratory, built in 2013, on the CSU Foothills Campus. It will provide students with opportunities to conduct research on advanced lasers and help train a fusion energy workforce, said Jorge Rocca, director of CSU’s Laboratory for Advanced Lasers and Extreme Photonics.

Source: BizWest