Article by Gieljan de Vries, EUROfusion
With the signing of the official Grant Agreement, the EUROfusion consortium is ready to start its new, comprehensive approach to developing fusion energy.
On 15 December the EUROfusion consortium signed into effect its Grant Agreement under Horizon Europe, the European Framework Programme from 2021 - 2027. Under this new Grant Agreement, the EUROfusion programme will direct and integrate research across Europe into a comprehensive R&D programme to realise fusion energy. EUROfusion will present its goals and achievements during an in-person event in Spring 2022.
Fusion energy has the potential to generate sustainable, low-carbon heat and electricity from a low-footprint facility, using the same process that produces all the energy of the Sun. Future fusion power plants would complement renewable energy from solar and wind (in combination with storage) currently being developed, and would produce clean base load energy from abundant fuels.
To realise fusion, the EUROfusion consortium brings together 4800 researchers, staff and students from its 30 member institutes and 152 associated entities from across Europe including the UK, Switzerland and Ukraine. Together these researchers have set up a focused research programme guided by the European Roadmap to Fusion Energy. This fusion R&D roadmap is the most comprehensive in the world, and lays out the scientific and technological challenges to fusion energy.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth at the European Commission, said:
"I congratulate the EUROfusion consortium on the signature of the new Grant Agreement and wish you success in implementing the EU fusion research programme for 2021 to 2025. This cements the close collaboration of the European fusion research community and the Commission, under Euratom. The last seven years have demonstrated the effectiveness of this Partnership and from now until the end of 2025, EUROfusion must build on this knowledge and advance in all areas, especially in support to the ITER project."
Tony Donné, EUROfusion Programme Manager, said:
"The European fusion community is one of the largest in this field and is well-positioned to deliver fusion breakthroughs - if we work together, we can make the future. Since EUROfusion was established in 2014, fusion R&D has become strongly coordinated. The European Roadmap to Fusion Energy is used to define the research priorities, and this has been fundamental to focus the resources on those challenges that are on the critical path towards a fusion power plant.”
Ambrogio Fasoli, Chair of the EUROfusion General Assembly, said:
"For Horizon Europe, EUROfusion reinvented itself to become the most thorough, comprehensive fusion R&D programme in the world. Whether in our scientific support and preparation for ITER, or working towards the European demonstration fusion power plant, our aim is to identify the big challenges on the way to fusion and then solve them in a systematic, integrated approach."
Sadly our in-person celebration of this milestone at the representation of the German state Mecklenburg Vorpommern in Brussels has been postponed due to Covid - we look forward to organising a celebratory event in Spring. Minister President of Mecklenburg Vorpommern Manuela Schwesig prepared a brief congratulatory message that we’re happy to share with you here.
Click on the image or quote below to go to the message on YouTube:
Fusion is exciting because it stirs the imagination, even and especially among laymen. If your research succeeds in recreating the sun on earth, we could supply ourselves with almost infinite energy. But before that, there is still some basic research to be done. You know best that this is a huge challenge that one country alone cannot meet. Good thing we have the EUROfusion consortium: This is where Europe comes together and does research for the future of our continent and for the energy of our world. I wish you good luck to you and thus to all of us.
- Manuela Schwesig, Minister President of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
EUROfusion also received congratulations from a number of our friends and partners in the global fusion community. Click on the images or quotes below to go to the messages on Youtube:
"On behalf of all of us at ITER I want to extend my congratulations to EUROfusion. EUROfusion is a powerhouse for fusion research and ITER has already benefitted tremendously from that community. We look forward to continue our collaboration to develop fusion energy as a clean and sustainable source of energy for our future."
- Alain Bécoulet, ITER Head of Engineering, on behalf of ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot
"Let me congratulate all of you on EUROfusion's next big step towards the success of ITER and DEMO. We deeply appreciate the long history of very productive collaboration with Japan. Together we are developing the joint fusion device JT-60SA and I look forward to continuing our close collaboration. Let's foster the next generation together toward ITER and DEMO!"
- Yutaka Kamada, Deputy Director General, Naka Fusion Institute, Fusion Energy Directorate, National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology (QST)
"All of us at EIROforum wish to congratulate EUROfusion on being renewed through the Horizon Europe Framework Programme. EUROfusion's work to coordinate at the European level the work on ITER today and DEMO tomorrow is so important for the field of fusion. It's a great day for science, it's a great day for Europe."
"I'd like to express my sincere congratulations for EUROfusion signing its new Grant Agreement. EUROfusion always does things very thoroughly and thoughtfully, and so I am looking forward to seeing the details of this new programme. We hope together to exploit the synergies between our two programmes and to continue our mutually beneficial collaborations with our European colleagues."
"Congratulations to EUROfusion for signing this new Grant Agreement - we look forward to even more productive collaboration in the future! Let us together make a great contribution to fusion energy for mankind."
"On behalf of FIIF, I want to congratulate you on the signing of the grant agreement between the European Commission and EUROfusion for Horizon Europe. The European fusion industry is convinced of the substantial contribution of this Grant Agreement to the European fusion programme and to the ITER and DEMO projects. The industrial involvement and industrial programme management as described in your work programme will provide the best possible path forward to demonstrating fusion electricity."
- Thomas Mull, Fusion Industry Innovation Forum FIIF