Industry Day at Princeton Plasma Physics Lab to highlight business opportunities

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory will host a virtual Industry Day from 1-4:30 p.m. Tuesday — in an effort to inform business owners about a new research building and other planned large construction projects as PPPL expands its mission to become a multipurpose national laboratory.

Kristen Fischer, PPPL’s chief financial officer and head of business operations, said such an event is long overdue — and encourages contractors and small business owners to join.

(To see the agenda and register, go to the Industry Day website.)

“We are very excited to be hosting our first Industry Day at PPPL in many years,” she said. “Our hope is to promote dialog between the laboratory and industry on acquisition-related topics as well as promote innovation, best practices and competition.

“We are delighted to welcome interested vendors, from both small and large companies in the area, to participate in the acquisition process and by offering a forum that encourages a wide variety of vendors to easily communicate with the laboratory.”

The multimillion-dollar projects planned over the next decade will support PPPL’s strategic plan to broaden its mission. While continuing to serve as a world leader in plasma science and fusion energy, with the goal of developing fusion energy as a clean, plentiful and inexpensive means of generating electrical power in the future, PPPL plans to focus on two related missions:

  • Developing the understanding of plasmas from nano- to astrophysical scales to understand plasma processes in astrophysics and space technologies.
  • Advancing the science of nanoscale fabrication for industries of the future, such as microelectronics and eventually quantum computing.

To accomplish these missions, PPPL will need additional laboratory space and infrastructure. It plans for a new building, the Princeton Plasma Innovation Center, to support these research areas by providing  modern laboratories and clean rooms for microelectronics research, as well as offices, meeting spaces and the Collaboration and Visualization Hub, which will provide remote collaboration and visualization space.

The three-story, 84,800-square-foot building is the first new building to be constructed at PPPL in decades, with construction costs estimated at about $60 million. It will replace two aging buildings adjacent to PPPL’s main building, the Lyman Spitzer Building.

In addition to PPIC, Industry Day participants will also learn about the $71 million utility project that will support the new research facilities. The Critical Infrastructure Recovery & Renewal project is aimed at revitalizing PPPL’s utility and information technology infrastructure by installing electrical; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; chilled water generation; and underground utilities.

Participants will also learn about smaller capital projects at PPPL, including the Fusion Research Technology Hub, which will include laboratory space in the area once occupied by the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor, and a new building with office space for collaborators.

Industry Day will introduce business owners to PPPL’s requirements as a national laboratory that is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and operated by Princeton University. The two major projects would be funded by the DOE’s Office of Science Science Laboratories Infrastructure program.

Hekima Qualls, head of procurement, said PPPL especially encourages small businesses; small, disadvantaged businesses; businesses owned by women; and businesses owned by veterans and service-disabled veterans to attend Industry Day and consider bidding for contracts.

“Our goal is to diversify our supplier base,” she said. “We’re seeking to expand our footprint. As we expand our footprint, we have to expand the suppliers that we use.”