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Proxima Fusion, originating from the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP), has announced a significant €20M seed funding round. The Munich-based spin-out is led by a group of former scientists and engineers from Max Planck IPP, MIT, and Google-X. The backing was received primarily from redalpine. The round also saw contributions from Bayern Kapital, the DeepTech & Climate Fonds, and the Max Planck Foundation. (The existing investors have doubled their stakes).

A new take on fusion energy

Established in January 2023, Proxima Fusion aims to improve energy production through the development of quasi-isodynamic (QI) stellarators. These devices, leveraging high-temperature superconductors, promise carbon-free, unlimited energy. Despite the historical challenge of achieving commercially viable fusion, Proxima Fusion has set ambitious targets. These include: net-energy production by 2031 and the construction of a fusion power plant in the 2030s.

The company’s approach is inspired by the disruptive optimisation results from the stellarator field in 2022. It combines advanced computing and AI-enabled design. This method represents a significant shift towards simulation-driven engineering, a strategy Proxima Fusion has embraced from its inception.

Utilisation of funds and investor insights

The freshly secured funds will support the construction of the first-generation fusion power plants and allow Proxima Fusion to attract top-tier engineers and physicists. The investment will also complement public funding awards, facilitating the company’s groundbreaking initiatives.

Dr. Francesco Sciortino, Co-Founder and CEO of Proxima Fusion, expressed gratitude for the support from strategic investors, underscoring the validation of their early progress and the potential impact of their work. Harald Nieder from redalpine highlighted the challenges and opportunities in fusion energy, commending Proxima Fusion’s team for setting a new standard in European deeptech ventures.

With a focus on radically automating engineering design for QI stellarators, Proxima Fusion is leveraging the outcomes of the Wendelstein 7-X experiment and a significant public investment by the German Government and the European Union. This approach positions the company at the forefront of the quest for a clean energy future, powered by fusion technology.

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