FIA participates in Seattle Fusion Week

Fusion leaders from government (local and national), industry, research, education, philanthropy, and other interested parties gathered for the second annual Seattle Fusion Week on October 12 and 13, 2022. Hosted by CleanTech Alliance, the two days included tours of the four Fusion Industry Association member companies located in Seattle and Everett, keynote speakers, and panel discussions. The primary focus, in addition to showcasing the tremendous breakthroughs by Helion, Zap Energy, CTFusion, and Avalanche Energy, was on ensuring inclusion of all communities as the fusion industry emerges, as well fostering Seattle as a fusion development hub.

Here is a link to the full agenda and speaker details, but below is a brief summary of the main events over the two days. The FIA appreciates the CleanTech Alliance for hosting this important event.

Wednesday included tours of Avalanche Energy and CTFusion, followed by lunch with remarks from Dr. Geri Richmond, Deputy Secretary for Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy and a panel discussion with Dr. Sally Benson, Deputy Director for Energy within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Paula Sardinias, CEO of FMS Global Strategies; and David Conrad, Deputy Director of the Office of Indian Energy and Programs within the U.S. Department of Energy. The panel discussed the importance of including all communities in the building of the emerging fusion industry. Dr. Sally Benson summed it up best in her introductory remarks: “We have a chance to do this right… So let’s do it.”

After lunch, Andrew Holland, FIA CEO, participated in a panel discussion on STEM Education and Workforce, alongside Alison Beason, Director/Sector Lead for Life Science and Global Health at the Washington State Department of Commerce; Kristi Morgansen, Chair of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Washington; and Carolyn Busch, Workforce Innovation Sector Lead at the Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness at the Washington State Department of Commerce. The panel discussed the need to build a diverse and equitable workforce as the fusion industry emerges.

Thursday kicked off with remarks from the chancellor of Washington State University, continuing the topic of the importance of engaging students and all communities in fusion development. Following introductory remarks, panels discussed utility applications of fusion energy and the basics of plasma physics and fusion science. The day ended with tours of Zap Energy and Helion, and a VIP reception with remarks from Cassie Franklin, Mayor of Everett; Scott Hsu, Lead Fusion Coordinator at the U.S. Department of Energy; Andrew Holland, CEO of the FIA; and Mel Cark, CEO of CleanTech Alliance.