Last year, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the creation of a new “Innovation Network for Fusion Energy” (INFUSE) program as a way to promote collaboration between the public and private sectors. The INFUSE website acts as the gateway for the program, providing directions and resources for how to apply for grants to work with federal researchers and other helpful links. In their first round of funding, for $1 million in grants, 11 of the 12 awards were given to FIA member companies.
The first call for funding of 2020 was announced on Monday, February 24. INFUSE can support
research in five topical areas:
1. enabling technologies
2. materials science
3. plasma diagnostics
4. theory and simulation including artificial intelligence
5. research requiring unique DOE experimental facilities
The DoE has $4 million appropriated for grants this year, up from $1M last year, and they are anticipating 2 rounds of grants, with a second coming this summer. All US companies, even those with a majority foreign ownership, can participate. They must show economic advantage to US economy, must be able to negotiate a CRADA, and meet export control restrictions.
Interested applicants should identify and contact personnel at proposed DOE partner laboratories to establish feasibility prior to submitting a Request for Assistance (RFA) application. Help on navigating the submission site can be found on the INFUSE website.