National Labs, Private Companies Pair Up to Develop Cost-Effective, Innovative Fusion Energy Technologies
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $2.3 million in funding for 10 projects that will pair private industry with DOE’s National Laboratories to overcome challenges in fusion energy development, an area of research that captivated global attention in December when the Department announced that a team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory had achieved fusion ignition. Ignition, in which more energy was derived from fusion than was put into it, had never been accomplished before in a laboratory setting and raised hopes that fusion energy could play a major role in the transition to clean energy.
“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.”
The awards announced today are provided through the DOE Office of Science’s Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE) program, which was established in 2019 to accelerate fusion energy development through public-private research partnerships.
The projects will be led by researchers at seven private companies:
- Commonwealth Fusion Systems (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
- Energy Driven Technologies LLC (Champaign, Illinois)
- Focused Energy (Austin, Texas)
- General Atomics (San Diego, California)
- Princeton Stellarators Inc. (Princeton, New Jersey)
- Tokamak Energy Inc. (Bruceton Mills, West Virginia)
- Type One Energy Group (Madison, Wisconsin)
The awards will provide companies with access to the leading expertise and capabilities available at DOE National Laboratories to address critical scientific and technological challenges in pursuing fusion energy systems.
INFUSE solicited proposals from the fusion industry and selected projects for one- or two-year awards between $50,000 and $500,000 each, with a 20% cost share for industry partners. Outyear funding is contingent on congressional appropriations. The full list of planned awards can be found on the Office of Science’s Fusion Energy Sciences website. Full abstracts for each project are available on the INFUSE website.