DOE Establishes Fusion Private Sector/Lab Opportunities

June 3, 2019

The Department of Energy has established the Innovation Network for Fusion Energy program, or INFUSE, to connect private companies to National Laboratories to encourage private-public research partnerships for overcoming challenges in fusion energy development.

The program, sponsored by the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) within DOE's Office of Science, focuses on accelerating fusion energy development through research collaborations between industry and DOE's national laboratory complex with its scientific expertise and facilities. The program is currently soliciting proposals and plans to select a number of projects for awards between $50,000 and $200,000 each, with a 20 percent project cost share for industry partners.

"We believe there is a real potential for synergy between industry- and government-sponsored research efforts in fusion," said James Van Dam, DOE Associate Director of Science for Fusion Energy Sciences. "This innovative program will advance progress toward fusion energy by drawing on the combined expertise of researchers from both sectors."

DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will manage the new program with Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). ORNL's Dennis Youchison, a fusion engineer with extensive experience in plasma facing components, will serve as the director, and PPPL's Ahmed Diallo, a physicist with expertise in laser diagnostics, will serve as deputy director. ORNL and PPPL are joined by Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories as participants in the INFUSE program.

The initial proposal solicitation for INFUSE is open as of June 01, 2019. FES will support challenging research in five topical areas:

The submission deadline is June 30, 2019. Award notifications will be issued August 10, 2019. CRADA's must be executed by August 30, 2019. FY2019 awards to labs will be made in September 2019.

Applications should focus on basic research in order to be within the Congressionally authorized mission space of FES. Applications focused on commercialization aspects of fusion energy will not be considered.

While not mandatory, it is strongly suggested that prospective private-sector applicants identify and contact personnel at proposed DOE partner laboratories to establish feasibility prior to submitting a Request for Assistance (RFA) application.

Submission requires an XCAMS account. After you request an XCAMS account, you will receive the following notifications:

  1. A notification that your XCAMS account has been created and is activated.
  2. A notification from INFUSE that your access to the SharePoint site is in review for approval. NOTE: YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO LOG INTO THE SUBMISSION SITE UNTIL YOUR ACCOUNT HAS BEEN APPROVED.
  3. A notification from INFUSE once your access has been approved and that you're ready to login.

To get an XCAMS account visit: https://xcams.ornl.gov/xcams/groups/fusionfirst/