Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:

@

Your email address will only be used for the purpose of sending you the ITER Organization publication(s) that you have requested. ITER Organization will not transfer your email address or other personal data to any other party or use it for commercial purposes.

If you change your mind, you can easily unsubscribe by clicking the unsubscribe option at the bottom of an email you've received from ITER Organization.

For more information, see our Privacy policy.

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Poloidal field coils | Reflecting on a unique industrial achievement

    They had worked together for 10 years. And on Thursday 20 June, they gathered one last time to reflect on what they had accomplished. Director-General Pietro Ba [...]

    Read more

  • 34th ITER Council | Updated baseline presented

    Nearly 100 people met for two days last week for the 34th Meeting of the ITER Council. The meeting was an important one, as the ITER Organization and the D [...]

    Read more

  • Cryopumps | First unit reaches ITER

    The ITER vacuum team, the European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy, Research Instruments (RI), and the ITER Director-General were all excited to welcome the d [...]

    Read more

  • Tritium Plant Summit | A shared vision to prepare for delivery

    A summit organized at ITER Headquarters from 3 to 6 June brought together the international teams that will deliver the sub-systems of the ITER Tritium Plant. I [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | ITER Robots goes international

    Thinking outside the box, teamwork and ingenuity are the ingredients that make for a successful robotics engineer—all qualities that are cultivated by participa [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

Cross-sector advocacy

The fusion knights

Developing fusion as a usable energy source requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. At last week's ITER workshop, fusion advocacy organizations showed the role they are playing in accelerating fusion energy deployment.

Like the general presentations and panels, the more informal breakout cluster sessions contributed to the dissemination of information across the ''fusion kingdom.'' (Photo Christian Lünig) (Click to view larger version...)
Like the general presentations and panels, the more informal breakout cluster sessions contributed to the dissemination of information across the ''fusion kingdom.'' (Photo Christian Lünig)
In his closing address to the ITER Private Sector Fusion Workshop, at which more than 350 experts had gathered to discuss pathways for cross-sector collaboration to accelerate fusion energy deployment, Director-General Pietro Barabaschi declared that "ITER is not a separate kingdom." Rather, he said, ITER is "in, by, and of" the larger fusion ecosystem and working toward a shared ultimate goal.

To extend Barabaschi's analogy—if ITER is part of a larger "fusion kingdom," then it can also be said that there are a number of "fusion knights" who are fighting to accelerate commercially viable fusion energy in areas outside of the laboratory. Andrew Holland, the CEO of the Fusion Industry Association (FIA), and Melanie Windridge, CEO of Fusion Energy Insights (FEI), fit this mold. Both featured prominently at the ITER workshop as heads of organizations oriented towards accelerating fusion through engagement in areas such as policy, public information, regulation, investment and industry, rather than by supporting any one concept, organization, or nation.

As CEO of the Fusion Industry Association, which describes itself as the "voice of the private fusion industry," Holland has helped steer the sector through an era of unprecedented growth. When the association launched in 2018, there were just 14 private fusion companies in existence and less than EUR 922 million (USD 1 billion) in private investment. Today, there are at least 43 private fusion companies (37 are FIA members) and more than EUR 5.5 billion (USD 6 billion) has been invested in the private fusion sector.

As CEO of the Fusion Industry Association, Andrew Holland has helped to steer the sector through an era of unprecedented growth. When the association launched in 2018, there were just 14 private fusion companies in existence. Today, there are at least 43 and private investment during the same period has jumped from EUR 922 million to EUR 5.5 billion. (Photo Christian Lünig) (Click to view larger version...)
As CEO of the Fusion Industry Association, Andrew Holland has helped to steer the sector through an era of unprecedented growth. When the association launched in 2018, there were just 14 private fusion companies in existence. Today, there are at least 43 and private investment during the same period has jumped from EUR 922 million to EUR 5.5 billion. (Photo Christian Lünig)
Holland attributes this growth to the engineering and scientific progress made by the companies he represents, as well as energy-security and net-zero incentives to develop fusion energy. He describes the Fusion Industry Association's specific mission as "driving the case to policymakers in Washington, and increasingly in governments around the world, that fusion is a viable energy choice. Fusion is something that is coming on a time scale that matters to them."

Under Holland, the Fusion Industry Association has played an essential role in creating a policy framework that has supported the growth of the private fusion sector. One key focus is creating fusion regulatory certainty. "Establishing fusion regulation separately from nuclear fission is really important, in order to create clear rules of the game for fusion investment and operations." His association has worked with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the US, as well as with the UK government, to develop such fit-for-purpose regulatory frameworks.

At the ITER workshop last week, however, Holland's focus was on another main goal for the private fusion sector, which is continuing to develop the public-private collaborations that the Fusion Industry Association has played a key role in cultivating in recent years. In speaking on behalf of the private industry Holland said, in referencing the last 60 years of publicly funded fusion research: "We know we stand on the shoulders of giants." In his view, the ITER workshop may be a first step towards finding cross-sector pathways through public-private channels to share this accumulated knowledge and know-how.

Windridge, on the other hand, is driving fusion acceleration through information dissemination. In a sense, Fusion Energy Insights (FEI) serves as a "fusion translator" between the complex, technical world of fusion science and outside investors, stakeholders, and the general public. Indeed, Windridge believes that her organization is working to overcome the very information silos that the ITER workshop was designed to overcome. "Silos exist when there is insufficient awareness of what others are doing, and insufficient communication. By offering a holistic bird's-eye view, we can help disseminate information to overcome these barriers."

Melanie Windridge's organization, Fusion Energy Insights, aims to serve as a ''fusion translator'' between the complex, technical world of fusion science and outside investors, stakeholders, and the general public. (Photo Christian Lünig) (Click to view larger version...)
Melanie Windridge's organization, Fusion Energy Insights, aims to serve as a ''fusion translator'' between the complex, technical world of fusion science and outside investors, stakeholders, and the general public. (Photo Christian Lünig)
Fusion Energy Insights offers a host of services directly targeting the specific needs of players across the industry, including a quarterly magazine, live online Q&A events and technical discovery sessions for members, plus specialized analyses for companies, governments, or investors in the form of targeted reports. "Our platform brings visibility to the goals and challenges that fusion companies have, in order for suppliers to understand the needs of their customers and propose solutions."

For Windridge, the ITER workshop itself was a demonstration of the demand for fusion information dissemination across the fusion "kingdom." "Meeting in person makes a huge difference, so I think it's really encouraging for everybody to be here and to see the enthusiasm in the room, to see the desire to share knowledge and for all of us to work towards the same goal."

The activities of the Fusion Industry Association and Fusion Energy Insights are complementary; for this reason, many companies are members of both organizations. However, the common belief that unites both Holland and Windridge's work is that fusion is coming, and the resulting business opportunities may be enormous. In a survey of its members published last year, a majority believes that the first fusion plant will deliver electricity to the grid before 2035, with industrialization occurring in the second half of that decade. Holland recognizes that such goals are extremely ambitious, and yet emphasized the importance of the private sector setting difficult targets. "Our organizations have to embrace the spirit of 'why can't we move faster'? Find out what the physical limit is to how fast you can move, and then move at that speed." Windridge concurs, arguing that these ambitious targets create an even greater urgency for information dissemination in order to spark "a collective effort to drive the energy transition forward through the development of fusion" through the kind of collaboration being explored during ITER's three-day workshop.

Follow these links to find out more about the Fusion Industry Association and Fusion Energy Insights.

 



return to the latest published articles