27 November 2021

BSBF Fusion: Need for new materials and mechanical components up until 2050-2070

Strategies, roadmaps, and development programmes were presented at the recent BSBF (Big Science Business Forum) webinar on Fusion. Ahead of the Big Science Business Forum 2022, currently planned to be a physical meeting in Granada, Spain, the BSBF Webinar Miniseries gives us a glimpse into the future of Big Science infrastructures. 

Håkan Nilsson, Senior Adviser at RISE and Business Developer at Big Science Sweden.

At the recent webinar, Fusion, participants were given the latest information about current and planned projects, and about opportunities for high-tech companies to participate in future procurements. The information included procurements relating to ITER, the fusion experimental reactor under construction in France, and expected future needs in large fusion research projects that will be run in parallel.

Working to get Swedish expertise involved

Big Science Sweden monitors procurements from ITER and from F4E (ITER’s European organisation for procurements, Fusion for Energy), and keeps member companies informed about what is going on.

Collaboration is one way for Swedish high-tech companies to become involved in the large, challenging research projects that lie ahead in the fusion field.

Håkan Nilsson, Senior Adviser at RISE and Business Developer at Big Science Sweden, is working to get Swedish expertise involved in the projects.

“We can see there will be many procurements from ITER, some of them large. As well as the potential for Swedish companies to submit bids themselves, we’re continually monitoring their opportunities to collaborate and form alliances with large technical integrators that are already established in the field. This gives Swedish companies the opportunity to become involved as sub-contractors.”

ITER is an experiment facility that will never generate any electric power, which is why there are plans to get the next generation of fusion facilities under way. Major European research projects of this type are DEMO (DEMOnstration power plant, ITER's successor) and IFMIF–DONES (a neutron source for fusion-like materials testing). The horizon for the projects is long, at least as far as 2050-2070, so procurements in the fusion field will continue for many years ahead.

“It’s too early for calls in these projects, but looking ahead we can see there will be a great need in areas such as development of materials and mechanical structures and components,” explains Håkan Nilsson. “We’re keeping an eye on developments, making new contacts, and strengthening our networks to improve the chances of Swedish industry getting involved in the projects in due course.”

Don’t miss the next episode in the BSBF Webinar Miniseries, 30 November 2021: Episode #3: High-Energy Accelerators and Synchrotrons: strategies, roadmaps and development programmes