On Tuesday, January 17, the Department of Energy announced $2.3 million in funding for the second round of the 2022 INFUSE awards. The awards are given to projects that pair industry with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Labs in order to accelerate fusion energy development.
The awards come through the Department of Energy Office of Science’s Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE) program, which was established in 2019 to promote fusion development by offering vouchers that can be spent with National Labs or other government-funded fusion research in public-private partnerships.
INFUSE awards are selected among proposals from the fusion industry and give one or two-year awards between $50,000 and $500,000 each, with a 20% cost share for industry partners.
The program strives to harness the innovative research at National Labs and the expertise of the private sector in order to cost-effectively accelerate fusion development. Public private partnerships like INFUSE drive advancement toward fusion commercialization.
The Fusion Industry Association strongly supports INFUSE, and advocated for from the beginning. However, the program should be scaled up in size and contracting speed to meet the level of demand from private industry. Government must move at the speed of business.