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Proxima Fusion Secures €20M Seed Funding to Advance Fusion Power Development

by Anna

Proxima Fusion, a Munich-based start-up stemming from the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP), has announced a significant milestone with the successful raising of €20 million in seed funding. This investment infusion is poised to accelerate the development of Proxima’s innovative fusion power technology, centered on quasi-isodynamic stellarators and high-temperature superconductors.

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The latest funding round, which follows a previous pre-seed funding of €7.5 million less than a year ago, was spearheaded by Swiss venture capital firm redalpine. It also saw participation from notable backers including German government-backed Bayern Kapital and DeepTech & Climate Fonds, the Max Planck Foundation, and existing investors.

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Fusion power represents a transformative pathway in clean energy production, characterized by its emission-free operation through the fusion of light atomic nuclei. Proxima Fusion’s pioneering approach leverages simulation-enabled stellarator designs, notably the breakthroughs in quasi-isodynamic stellarator technology, to drive the commercialization of fusion power production.

Stellarators, a form of magnetic confinement utilized in fusion reactors for over six decades, have recently seen advancements in design that position them as viable contenders for mainstream fusion energy initiatives.

To contextualize, achieving fusion reactions entails transforming gases into plasma via exposure to exceedingly high temperatures. This process involves stripping electrons from atoms to produce ions, which are then manipulated to collide and trigger fusion reactions that release substantial energy.

Controlling the turbulent and ultra-hot plasma environment necessitates advanced engineering solutions. Magnetic confinement devices, such as tokamaks and stellarators, play pivotal roles in managing plasma stability. Unlike tokamaks, stellarators like Proxima’s quasi-isodynamic design mitigate toroidal currents, resulting in enhanced robustness and performance.

Proxima Fusion’s strategy revolves around a simulation-centric development approach, integrating advanced modeling capabilities to expedite design iterations and streamline cost-efficient engineering solutions. This optimized methodology allows Proxima to navigate critical scientific and engineering trade-offs while refining manufacturing processes for essential fusion components.

Notably, Proxima Fusion’s efforts build upon the foundation laid by the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) experiment, the world’s largest stellarator located at the Max Planck IPP. The W7-X project, supported by substantial public investment totaling €1.3 billion from the German Government and European Union, underscores the collaborative pursuit of advancing fusion power to grid-scale viability.

With the latest infusion of seed funding, Proxima Fusion is poised to further leverage its innovative stellarator technologies and high-temperature superconductors, accelerating the trajectory towards realizing sustainable and scalable fusion power solutions. This milestone underscores Proxima’s pivotal role in shaping the future of clean energy production and bolstering Europe’s leadership in the fusion energy landscape.

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