Newswise — WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $4.6 million in funding for 18 projects at national laboratories and U.S. universities. The awards are provided through the Innovation Network for Fusion Energy, or INFUSE, program, which was established in 2019. The program is sponsored by the Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) program office within DOE’s Office of Science and is focused on accelerating fusion energy development through public-private research partnerships.
“The latest round of INFUSE selections demonstrates the growing interest from private industry in partnering with national laboratories and U.S. universities,” said Jean Paul Allain, DOE Associate Director of Science for Fusion Energy Sciences. “INFUSE is attracting interest from both fusion developers and from companies seeking to serve as their suppliers or partners. We are seeing this program evolve and continue to encourage contributions to a vibrant fusion ecosystem in the U.S.”
“Six of these awards are to companies in the rising ‘fusion-adjacent industry.’ These companies won’t design fusion power plants on their own, but they will serve as domestic suppliers. By partnering with companies like those in the Milestone-Based Fusion Development Program, these suppliers enable technologies that advance fusion in the U.S.,” said Allain.
Projects include enabling technologies, materials science, modeling and simulation, as well as plasma diagnostics. The funded projects will provide companies with access to the leading expertise and capabilities available at DOE national laboratories and U.S. universities to address critical scientific and technological challenges in pursuing fusion energy systems. The program solicited proposals from the fusion industry and selected projects for one- or two-year awards between $100,000 and $750,000 each, with a 20% (or greater) cost share from industry partners.
The 18 projects for the 2023 INFUSE Request for Applications were selected via a competitive peer review process managed by the INFUSE leadership team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.
Total funding is $4.6 million for projects lasting up to two years in duration, with all the funding from Fiscal Year 2023 dollars. The full list of planned awards can be found under “Latest Topical Funding Opportunity Awards” on the FES website. Full abstracts for each project are available on the INFUSE website.
Selection for award negotiations is not a commitment by DOE to issue an award or provide funding. Before funding is issued, DOE and the applicants will undergo a negotiation process, and DOE may cancel negotiations and rescind the selection for any reason during that time.