TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct 13th 2023, Helical Fusion Co., Ltd. has been selected by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) for its total $43 million (JPY 6.5 billion) Small Business Innovation Research*(SBIR) program to develop cutting-edge fusion technologies.
Helical Fusion is one of four companies to be selected and receive its max $13.5 million (JPY 2 billion). MEXT-funded mission will further advance Helical Fusion’s effort to develop its cutting-edge High-Temperature Superconducting (HTS) cable technology, which is expected to meet fusion industry’s needs to secure commercially viable high-performance magnets. This funding grant represents the Japanese government’s commitment and recognition of innovative fusion technology led by private sectors, including that of Helical Fusion.
Helical Fusion has developed a new HTS conductor, Wind and Impregnated Stacked Elastic tapes (WISE) that can be scaled and engineered into the high-performance magnet, together with a Japanese research institute, National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS). The program fund would accelerate commercialization of the WISE conductor by raising its Technology Readiness Level ** (TRL) from Level 5 to Level 7.
The WISE conductor is a breakthrough in the area of cable architecture with the advantage of flexibility to be wound to fabricate HTS coils with complicated shapes, while maintaining the needed tolerances and superconducting-current properties. In addition, the built-in cooling pipe provides enhanced cooling performance. Considering that competitiveness, the WISE conductor is expected to be an essential solution for developing small-scale and low-cost fusion reactors.
Takaya Taguchi, Helical Fusion’s co-CEO, commented: “We are delighted to be selected by the Japanese SBIR program. Helical Fusion will, together with industrial partners and technology, accelerate development of the HTS cable which can contribute to the early realization of fusion reactors in Japan and overseas.”
Helical Fusion welcomes inquiries from potential partners in and outside the fusion industry.
About Helical Fusion Co., Ltd.:
Helical Fusion is a private fusion technology company spun out of the National Institute for Fusion Science and is focused on developing fusion reactors using a magnetic field confinement method.
Various fusion methods have been developed in the world over the past 60 years. In Japan, the helical method, which uses superconducting helical coils with a double helical structure similar to DNA to stably confine high-temperature plasma, was born and has been greatly nurtured.
Our goal is to develop the world's first steady-state fusion reactor that incorporates further unique cutting-edge technology such as the WISE conductor into this helical method to create a sustainable and stable energy source that will enable the coexistence of humans and the Earth for the next millions of years.
* The SBIR program was established to promote research and development for startups engaged in advancing innovative technologies, and to facilitate the smooth implementation of results through government support. The program is similar to the US program of the same name.
** An index created by NASA that is used to evaluate the proficiency level of a particular technology and, in principle, to determine the maturity level of the technology.