The Department of Energy’s Office of Science announced $2.3 million in funding on January 17 for 10 fusion energy projects that will allow private companies to work with national laboratories to address specific challenges in fusion energy development. Seven private companies and seven national laboratories are represented in the 10 projects selected for funding, provided through the INFUSE (Innovation Network for Fusion Energy) program. The second-round fiscal year 2022 awards follow a first round of 18 project awards announced in July 2022.
“We were elated when the team at Livermore delivered the news that they had achieved fusion ignition, and we knew that was just the beginning,” said U.S. secretary of energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The companies and DOE scientists will build on advances from the national labs with the entrepreneurial spirit of the private sector to advance our understanding of fusion.”
INFUSE in brief: The INFUSE program 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. INFUSE solicited and selected proposals from private fusion companies for one- or two-year awards between $50,000 and $500,000 each, with a 20 percent cost share.
- Commonwealth Fusion Systems of Cambridge, Mass., received two awards and will work with ORNL and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
- Energy Driven Technologies LLC of Champaign, Ill., received an award to work with Sandia National Laboratories.
- Focused Energy of Austin, Texas, received two awards and will work with Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
- General Atomics of San Diego, Calif., received an award and will work with LLNL.
- Princeton Stellarators Inc. of Princeton, N.J., received two awards and will work with PPPL.
- Tokamak Energy Inc. of Bruceton Mills, W.V., received an award to work with ORNL.
- Type One Energy Group of Madison, Wis., received an award to work with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.