Fusion For Energy (F4E) met with the Catalan authorities in order to communicate better its mission, offer an update on the progress of the ITER experiment and explore ways of tighter collaboration with the Catalan policy makers in areas of research, science and innovation, energy and environment.
Didier Gambier, Director of F4E, explained that F4E was an international centre of excellence in fusion research attracting talent and expertise across Europe as well as implementing a new model of Scientific & Technological cooperation. The complexity of energy politics and the need for a global response were conducive to start considering new energy mixes and launch the greatest energy experiment ever- ITER.
He stated that Catalan authorities would play a significant role in helping F4E to reach out to the respective industry, research and policy communities.
Ana Terrón i Cusi, Secretary of the Catalan Government for EU Affairs, stated that hosting an organisation of such profile was entirely congruent with the objective of Catalonia to become a knowledge based society that thrives on talent. She added that the innovative nature of the ITER project and its stake in energy politics would also inspire Catalan authorities to target emerging scientific communities, SMEs, industry actors and make them work together.
Maurizio Gasparotto, Chief Engineer at F4E ITER Department, presented the technical side of the ITER project, the different construction phases and reported on the progress of the experiment. He also presented the merits of fusion energy and gave an account of the different ongoing fusion experiments carried around the world.
Stavros Chatzipanagiotou, Head of F4E Resources and Communication, stressed the symbolic value of hosting in Barcelona an EU organisation that carries through the Barcelona Summit objectives in terms of more investment in Research and Development. The need to explain the work of F4E and communicate the merits of fusion through outreach activities, education initiatives and policy seminars was emphasised.