Type: Climate & Energy

Investor: Ian Hogarth


What is the mission?

Proxima Fusion – the first ever spin-out from the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) – is designing fusion power plants based on the stellarator concept, and its roadmap targets a first-of-a-kind fusion power plant within the 2030s. The project stands on the shoulders of IPP’s Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X), which is by far the most advanced stellarator in the world  The opportunity to leverage fusion – the process that powers the stars – as a safe, clean, and abundant energy source has motivated academic research in this domain for decades. It will be one of the greatest breakthroughs of this century.

Who are the founders?

Proxima’s 5 co-founders are scientists and engineers from the Max Planck IPP, MIT, and Google-X. They are Francesco Sciortino (CEO), Jonathan Schilling (Head of Optimisation), Jorrit Lion (CSO), Lucio Milanese (COO), and Martin Kubie (Head of Engineering).

Why did Ian get involved?

I’ve always thought that fusion was one of the most incredible things that might happen within my lifetime. I remember playing SimCity as a kid and by the end of the game the highlight would be having the whole city running on fusion! Stellarators offer the most robust and clearest path to fusion energy, and the Proxima team has the energy and the speed that we need. They are ecosystem players, with a thrilling sense of ambition building on top of the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator – a masterpiece of German leadership. Europe needs the audacity of this team and their willpower to take on the fusion challenge and I couldn’t be more excited to partner with them.

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