On July 1, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the first round of the 2021 Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE) program grants for the fusion public-private partnership awards. The DOE has allocated $2.1 million across nine projects, five of which were granted to Fusion Industry Association Members, for partnerships between private companies and national laboratories. The program has been managed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory with the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory since the DOE's Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) established the INFUSE program in 2019.
In regards to the awards, DOE Associate Director for the FES James Van Dam said,
After two successful years of INFUSE, it is clear that the program offers significant benefit to the fusion community. This new round of funding shows continued interest in the program as new companies continue to apply, looking to leverage the unique expertise and capabilities available at the DOE national laboratory system.
The specific grants are:
Air Squared Inc.: Design, Test, and Evaluation of a Scroll Roughing Vacuum Pump with Filter and Vespel Tip Seals for Tritium Handling (ORNL)
General Atomics: Performance Testing of Low-resistance Demountable HTS Joints for Large Segmented Magnets (LBNL)
Microsoft: Improving Plasma Control Capabilities in Magnetically-Confined Tokamak Systems with Transformer Neural Networks (PPPL)
Renaissance Americas Inc.: Phase Diagram of Li-LiH,D,(T) Mixtures and Implications for Tritium Retention and Extraction (SRNL)
Full abstracts for each project are available on the INFUSE website.
The FIA is a proud partner of the INFUSE program.