UK nuclear fusion energy firm Tokamak joins global giants Google, Dropbox and Mozilla as World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer award winner

Scottish Energy News

Hydrogen plasma in the world’s first tokamak to use exclusively high temperature superconducting magnets.

The World Economic Forum has announced its selection of the world’s 49 most promising Technology Pioneers 2015 – which includes the UK’s Tokamak Energy, which has been recognised for its approach to accelerate delivery of fusion energy – a safe CO2-free, long-term energy source.Nuclear fusion is potentially one of the most promising options for generating large amounts of carbon-free energy in the future.

Past winners of this award include Google (2001), Wikimedia (2007), Mozilla (2007), Kickstarter (2011) and Dropbox (2011).

Tokamak aims to accelerate the development of cost-effective, clean energy from fusion by combining two emerging technologies – compact, spherical tokamaks and high-temperature superconductors.

It is one of only 49 companies to receive the prestigious distinction from the World Economic Forum this year, which honours innovative organisations from around the world that are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.

David Kingham, Chief Executive Officer, Tokamak Energy. “The world needs a clean base-load energy solution that is abundant, safe and CO2-free. Nuclear fusion is one of the few options available and we believe it is critical to find the quickest, most cost effective and realistic pathway to fusion energy.”

Tokamak Energy was chosen by a professional jury from hundreds of candidates as one of the 49 selected companies. Through this award it will have access to the most influential and sought-after business and political network in the world, and be invited to the World Economic Forum’s “Summer Davos” in Dalian, China, this September, or the Annual Meeting in Davos in January.

Tokamak Energy has grown from Culham Laboratory, the world’s leading centre for magnetic fusion energy research and home to the world’s most powerful tokamak, JET, which produced 16MW of fusion power in 1997.

Plasma in the START spherical tokamak, courtesy of CCFE/Euratom fusion association

Tokamak Energy is particularly focused on spherical tokamaks, pioneered at Culham, because these compact devices can achieve a much higher plasma pressure for a given magnetic field than conventional tokamaks, i.e. they are more efficient.

Combining Spherical Tokamaks with High Temperature Superconductors, which can give higher magnetic field than conventional superconductors at more attainable temperatures, means we can achieve high fusion power from compact tokamaks.

The Technology Pioneers were selected from among hundreds of applicants by a selection committee of 68 academics, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and corporate executives. Notable members of the committee include Arianna Huffington (founder, Huffington Post) and Henry Blodget (editor-in-chief, Business Insider). The committee based its decisions on criteria including innovation, potential impact, working prototype, viability and leadership.