A consortium of Strabag MML and Swietelsky Magyarország has been officially named the winner of a tender to build a superlaser center in Szeged with a bid of net HUF 25.9 billion in the Public Procurement Gazette.
The consortium was declared the winner of the contract in January (and even laid the cornerstone for the structure in February with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán himself in attendance) but the runner-up, KÉSz Építő és Szerelő, contested the decision with the Public Procurement Arbitration Board (KDB). The board found the KÉSz offer unrealistically low, however, allowing the contract with Strabag and Swietelsky to be signed.
Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania won a joint bid for the EU’s Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project in October 2009, with the University of Szeged hosting the project in Hungary.
The ELI-ALPS will be devoted to “taking snapshots in the attosecond scale of the electron dynamics in atoms, molecules, plasmas and solids”; an attosecond is defined as a billionth of a billionth of a second, or 0.000000000000000001 seconds. The ELI-ALPS will “also pursue research with ultrahigh intensity lasers.”
In the first phase, the research building will be constructed and part of the laser technology installed. EU funding will cover 85% of the project’s HUF 37 billion (€120.3 million) cost. More equipment will be installed in the second, HUF 24.3 billion phase which is expected to be completed by 2018.