Proxima Fusion, a startup spun out of the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP), raised €7m in pre-seed funding for their stellarator concept, a novel design for fusion power plants. The fundraising round was co-led by Plural and UVC Partners and included High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and the Wilbe Group.
The company was founded by a group of scientists and engineers from Max Planck IPP, MIT, and Google-X. They aim to design and deploy a high-performance stellarator in the coming years, with plans for a first-of-a-kind fusion power plant within the 2030s.
Stellarators, which utilize a complex set of external electromagnets to contain the plasma, have distinct advantages over the more commonly used tokamak design, despite their increased design complexity. They can operate in a steady state and have smaller operational challenges, making them an attractive solution for managing excessive heat loads on material surfaces.
The Proxima Fusion project draws heavily from the IPP's Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X), the most advanced stellarator in the world. Although stellarators have historically struggled with high-temperature plasma confinement, high fusion product losses, and demanding construction tolerances, recent advancements have mitigated many of these issues, making stellarators a viable and potentially superior alternative to tokamaks.
|X (Twitter) Profile
Sources: Company website, Fusion Industry Association Annual Report 2022