As part of the efforts to facilitate the further use of fusion technologies in new applications, Fusion for Energy with the support of In Extenso Innovation Croissance launched in June 2021 an Open Call for Fusion Technology Transfer Demonstrator proposals. As part of the F4E Technology Transfer Programme, this 35 000 € funding opportunity aims at supporting a demonstrator project where a fusion technology is planned to be used in a non-fusion environment. “Our ambition is to show how working with F4E stimulates innovation and creates new technologies that benefit European industries outside the ITER project. We are putting in contact companies so they identify new business opportunities and develop new products and services based on fusion technologies, thus increasing their competitiveness” points out Carmen Casteras, Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Specialist at Fusion for Energy.
After several months of evaluation of the demonstrator project applications, F4E and In Extenso Innovation Croissance revealed last February 2nd of 2022 the selection of VIA ELECTRONIC as winner of the Open Call. Specialised in Low temperature co-fired ceramic multilayer substrates, the German company submitted a project that impressed the jury by its ambition and impacts in non-fusion markets. The idea in brief: adapting an interconnection technology applicable for high peak temperatures (up to 700°C) and developed for the ITER project to offer new competitive products for power electronics, LEDs and sensors applications. “With this funding, we want to evaluate the feasibility of copper interconnection technology with Low Temperature Co-Fired Ceramics and adjust our technology to the requirement of new markets” explained Manikandan Adaikkan, development engineer at VIA ELECTRONIC. “Our goal is to develop a highly reliable and cost effective (an alternative to the continuous increase of gold price) copper wire interconnection technology to meet the growing demand in power electronics for automotive and LED applications”.
For the ITER project, VIA ELECTRONIC has developed and manufactured LTCC sensor coils that will oversee local magnetic fields in various frequency ranges inside the Vacuum Vessel. Due to material properties such as advanced dielectric characteristics or non-magnetic materials, LTCC is ideally suited for use cases in harsh environment, low or high temperature, vacuum or high magnetic fields. “It was challenging to deliver a high number of sensors with a tight schedule, pushing the manufacturing technology to the limits in terms of complexity and tight tolerances. But in the end VIA ELECTRONIC rose to the challenge and delivered a good product that we will be using for many years of ITER operation,” concludes Ulrich Walach, Technical Responsible Officer for this project at Fusion for Energy’s Diagnostics Programme.
During this online event that gathered almost 45 participants from different industries, F4E and In Extenso Innovation Croissance made two other important announcements:
- the opening of the F4E Technology Transfer Award 2022: A €10,000 prize to reward the exploitation of a fusion technology in the market. Application period runs from February 2nd to April 2nd.
- the organisation of the “F4E Technology Transfer Day” on April 7th 2022 with webinars and B2B meetings in order to connect fusion technology providers and industries