The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the launch of INFUSE, a program created to encourage partnerships in fusion research between industry and DOE national laboratories.
The Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE) will select a number of projects for awards between $50,000 and $200,000 each, with a 20 percent project cost share for industry partners. Of particular focus will be "enabling technologies" that could contribute to accelerating the development of fusion energy such as new and improved superconducting magnets, materials science, diagnostics, modelling and simulation, and experimental capabilities.
DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will manage the new program with the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). ORNL's Dennis Youchison, a fusion engineer with extensive experience in plasma-facing components, will serve as director, and PPPL's Ahmed Diallo, a physicist with expertise in laser diagnostics, will serve as deputy director.
"I am excited about the potential of INFUSE and believe this step will instill a new vitality to the entire fusion community," says Youchison in the DOE press release. "With growing interest in developing cost-effective sources of fusion energy, INFUSE will help focus current research. Multiple private companies in the United States are pursuing fusion energy systems, and we want to contribute scientific solutions that help make fusion a reality."
The first call for proposals has been issued (deadline 30 June).