The Department of Energy announced awards for 18 Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE) projects on July 6 that link private fusion energy developers with DOE national laboratories (and, in a first for the program, with U.S. universities) to overcome scientific and technological challenges in fusion energy development. The 18 selected projects include representation from 10 private companies, three national labs, and eight universities.
“This series of selections marks the start of the fourth year of the INFUSE program and the first time that universities are eligible for directly partnering with industry,” said James Van Dam, DOE associate director of science for Fusion Energy Sciences. “There is strong interest in the private fusion sector to partner with the full complement of DOE capabilities at public research institutions, which include both national labs and universities. We look forward to seeing results of these university partnerships.”
INFUSE in brief: INFUSE was established in 2019 by the DOE’s Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) to accelerate basic research to develop cost-effective, innovative fusion energy technologies in the private sector by giving the fusion industrial community access to DOE-funded fusion institutions. It is managed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.
INFUSE supports research in five topical areas: enabling technologies, materials science, diagnostic development, modeling and simulation, and research requiring unique DOE experimental facilities. While typical INFUSE awards are less than $250,000 over a one-year period, the program solicited proposals from fusion industry and selected projects for one- or two-year awards between $50,000 and $500,000. Each requires a 20 percent cost share from industry partners.
- Commonwealth Fusion Systems of Cambridge, Mass., received four awards and will work with the University of California–San Diego, ORNL, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- General Atomics of San Diego, Calif., received one award to work with Savannah River National Laboratory.
- General Fusion, based in Canada with a subsidiary in Oak Ridge, Tenn., received two awards and will work with ORNL and SRNL.
- Helicity Space of Pasadena, Calif., received one award to work with Swarthmore College.
- Magneto-Intertial Fusion Technologies of Tustin, Calif., received two awards and will work with the University of Rochester and the California Institute of Technology.
- Princeton Fusion Systems of Plainsboro, N.J., received three awards and will work with the University of California–Davis and PPPL.
- SuperPower of Glenville, N.Y., received one award to work with Florida State University.
- TAE Technologies of Foothill Ranch, Calif., received two awards and will work with the University of Rochester and PPPL.
- Tokamak Energy, a U.K.-based company with a subsidiary in Bruceton Mills, W.V., received one award to work with the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign.
- Xcimer Energy of Foster City, Calif., received one award to work with the University of Rochester.