The European fusion industry gathered in Brussels on 6th July 2010 to launch the Fusion Industry Innovation Forum (FIIF). The Forum has three objectives: To promote industrial involvement in fusion technology development and power plant studies, to transfer knowledge from research centres to industry and to create a European Fusion Industry by developing skills in the industry. Over 90 participants, including industry representatives, as well as other representatives from the energy and power supply sectors, the Euratom Fusion Associations, Fusion for Energy and the European Commission met to discuss how best to establish the Forum. The workshop was opened by Deputy Director General for scientific advances, DG RTD Rudolf Strohmeier, who presented the main objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy and the place of fusion research within it. Octavi Quintana Trias, Director for RTD Euratom, followed by a general overview of the current fusion research situation and an introduction to the forum’s objectives.

These topics were addressed in three different sessions with speakers representing a wide range of industry and research sectors. The participants emphasised the existing impressive examples of fusion technology applications in industry, for example, accelerators used for medical purposes. The real need for initiatives that address the shortage of well-qualified young engineers and researchers was also noted. Furthermore, as a first step to achieving the forum’s objectives, the creation of a flagship project such as a power plant design and a detailed technology road map was proposed. Finally, the workshop turned to the practicalities of managing the forum activities via the FIIF Management Board. Potential candidates are now being nominated and will be selected at the end of September, with the first meeting of the board then taking place in October.

Based on the success of this launch event and the strong industry support, the future of the FIIF looks very promising.

Paula Cejalvo Cabral, EC