The objectives of Fusion Industry Programme (FIP) are to:
- Increase innovation in industry by tackling the key technical challenges facing fusion energy’s development
- Encourage greater use of UKAEA’s capabilities by the fusion supply chain and fusion-adjacent industries in support of industrial economic growth
- Positively influence career choices of the next generation and expose businesses to bright new minds and short-term project opportunities in fusion companies
- Create a portfolio of new, fast-growing, and commercially successful businesses based on technology innovation arising from fusion programmes.
FIP will achieve these objectives by delivering three schemes:
- Challenge scheme: engaging and supporting UK businesses to overcome important technical challenges in fusion, developing valuable intellectual assets and capabilities within the UK private sector supply chain
- Voucher scheme: making it easy for UK businesses to access facilities offering specialisms in fusion technology giving them access to bespoke expertise and technologies
- Education scheme: increasing the supply of highly skilled workers and researchers into the fusion sector
The major component of the Fusion Industry Programme (FIP) is an industrial challenge scheme to engage the private sector on the technical challenges facing fusion energy’s development. The scheme is concept-agnostic meaning there are no prejudices towards using one specific process or practice.
This scheme will target the breadth of the fusion industry supply chain – from emerging SMEs through to tier 2 suppliers and mid-level players to the established tier 1 fusion suppliers and those in fusion-adjacent fields.
So far four challenges have been let under the titles:
- Accelerating fusion powerplant design with next-generation digital tools
- Reducing fusion powerplant fuel requirements with advanced production and handling technology for hydrogen isotopes
- Driving up fusion powerplant performance with innovative heating and cooling systems
- Improving fusion powerplant availability with novel fusion materials, technology and manufacture
All challenges have been launched through the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Competition, as Innovation Competitions.
UKAEA has facilities which offer highly specialised technical resources. The facilities are new and have not been marketed outside of the fusion industry.
FIP will provide specialist support to capitalise on UKAEA’s facilities and capabilities, including ‘free access’ to the specific needs to run initial experiments.
This scheme will make it easy for UK businesses to use UKAEA’s facilities giving them access to bespoke expertise and technologies. If you are interested on your eligibility for vouchers, please contact FIP-Challenge@ukaea.uk
The fusion industry is a rapidly growing industry, and more science and technology graduates are needed to meet the UK’s ambitions of being a global science and technology superpower. FIP will aim to scale up the talent acquisition for fusion by funding industry placements each year and offering relevant and accessible careers information, advice and guidance.
To achieve this, FIP will partner with host organisations to offer students with fusion industry placements. FIP can provide funding to companies who have a short-term project (typically 8 weeks long) and would like to offer students the opportunity to gain new skills and an insight into their business. Fusion Industry Programme sponsors the selected applicants with £3,000 subsistence.
If you are interested on becoming a host and partnering with the Fusion industry Programme, please contact FIPSummerPlacement@ukaea.uk