This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). The aim of the competition is to develop solutions to fusion energy challenges in two themes for key priority areas:

  1. Driving up fusion power plant performance with innovative heating and cooling systems
  2. Improving fusion power plant availability with novel fusion materials, technology, and manufacture

This is phase 1 of a potential 2 phase competition. The decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1 and assessment of a separate application into a subsequent phase 2 competition.

Only the successful applicants from phase 1 will be invited to apply to take part in phase 2.

Projects must start by 1 September 2022 and last 3-6 months, ending by 31 March 2023.

To lead a project, you can:

  • be an eligible organisation of any size with a UK registration or registered office
  • work alone or with others from business, research organisations, research and technology organisations or the third sector as subcontractors

A total of up to £2 million, inclusive of VAT, is allocated to phase 1. The funding is provided by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). The Phase 1 feasibility study R&D contracts will be between £50,000 and £200,000, inclusive of VAT, for each project for up to 6 months. We expect to fund up to 10 projects.

Phase 2 involves up to 5 contracts being awarded to organisations chosen from the successful phase 1 applicants. Up to £1,000,000 inclusive of VAT will be allocated for each contract, to develop a prototype and undertake field testing for up to 18 months.

Your project must focus on one of these 2 themes:

Driving up fusion power plant performance with innovative heating and cooling systems
This can cover microwave heating, neutral particle beam heating, and reactor high heat flux components

Improving fusion power plant availability with novel fusion materials, technology, and manufacture
This can cover all materials that may be used in fusion plants, measurements and monitoring, novel energy conversion technology, manufacture of components, and high temperature superconductors.

Click here to see the full scope.

Click here for the online briefing event, which will be held at 1:20pm on 23rd May 2022.

If you want help to find an organisation to work with, contact Ray Chegwin, KTM for Nuclear at Innovate UK KTN.