FuseNet is the European network on Fusion Education. Its members are institutions that are in one way or another related to or have an interest in education and training in the field of nuclear fusion. They may be universities, or research institutes, or companies. Also the ITER International Organisation is a member.
FuseNet has presently over 55 members and this number is growing steadily. Nearly all European universities and research institutes that have an activity in fusion are member. Industry is represented in the board and there is a close connection to the Fusion Industry Innovation Forum (FIIF). Several companies are members.
The legal form chosen for FuseNet is that of an ‘Association’. This means that all members together annually determine the policy and work programme of Fusenet, which is then managed by the Board of Governors and implemented by the Executive Office.
The purpose of FuseNet is to coordinate and facilitate fusion education, to share best practices, to jointly develop educational tools, to jointly organize educational events. Very importantly, the members of FuseNet have jointly established academic criteria for the award of European Fusion Doctorate and Master Certificates. These criteria are ambitious, their purpose being to stimulate a high level of fusion education throughout Europe.
FuseNet has an active and well-visited website, which serves as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for students who are interested in fusion and are looking for courses, internships, hands-on workshops, summer schools or other educational activities. The website also serves as the matchmaking platform where students can find industrial internships, as well as place where fusion PhD and PostDoc positions are advertised. All information on other activities of FuseNet is found on the website, too. The website is made attractive by articles on recent developments in fusion, ‘eye-witness reports’ of participants in FuseNet activities, ‘photo-of-the-month’ etc.
With its wide membership and support, and based on the specific competences on education and training embodied by its members, FuseNet is the European umbrella organization on fusion education. Several smaller, more specific networks, such as the Padova-Lisbon-Munich Fusion doctoral network, the Erasmus Mundus Master and Doctoral networks, the French Fusion Master network and the Fusion Doctoral Training Network in the UK are brought together in FuseNet and all represented in the Board of Governors. As umbrella organization, FuseNet is also the natural partner for e.g. the European Nuclear Education Network ENEN.
FuseNet, in short, is the umbrella organization and single voice for the training and education of the next generation fusion engineers and scientists. FuseNet is recognized as such by the European Commission.
Why become a member? It depends on who you are!
The main reason to become a member of FuseNet, for anyone, is to realize our common interest: to jointly give a voice to fusion education and training, to jointly improve its quality, to make it more attractive to students, to give it visibility and articulate the fusion education and training needs, in the direction of Euratom, in the direction of the SET plan, in the direction of ITER.
But there are also individual reasons for each member, and those depend on who you are.
If you are a university group, FuseNet may help you develop better courses, provide material, share best practices, share hands-on labs, etc. And the jointly established joint academic criteria, will help improve and homogenise the standard of fusion education Europe. FuseNet will allow you to enhance the profile of fusion as a field in your university. This will make fusion more attractive subject to study, so allow you to attract more and better students to your group.
If you are a large fusion laboratory, FuseNet may, through its visibility for students and its ability to attract students to fusion, bring more and better students to your program. Through the network function, your interaction with universities as well as industry may be intensified. You’ll have access to the population of students who are interested in fusion and you can effectively search for candidate PhD students.
If you are a small fusion laboratory – and this is a large group among our members – FuseNet enhances your ability to educate students through the network and mobility function. FuseNet may support the participation of your students in summer schools and other educational events, in the annual PhD-event, and internships in other labs or industry. It will help your students integrate in the European fusion community, and thus increase the attractiveness of your lab to students.
If you are a doctoral training network, FuseNet is your umbrella organization. Through the jointly established academic criteria, as well as the joint PhD-event, FuseNet harmonizes the level and scope of the diverse doctoral training networks in Europe. It provides a platform where you can discuss, share best practices and harmonize with other doctoral training networks. FuseNet does not replace doctoral training networks – these should be local and diversified, often drawing on local funding schemes and following local academic practices – but does bind them together.
If you are an industry, FuseNet may greatly enhance your ability to have internships in a fusion related project, which then is the best way to establish sustainable links between your company and academic partners. And very importantly, FuseNet allows you to address exactly the group of young people who are interested in fusion and have received training in that field, from which you may want to recruit new personnel.
ITER is a member, too. Because ITER places much emphasis on stimulating high level fusion education.
For the implementation of the Fusion Roadmap: FuseNet is the platform that allows us to implement a human resource agenda that looks 10 years ahead, to the operation of ITER and the design and construction of DEMO.
So, the question ‘what is in it for you’ may be answered somewhat differently per member, but all have very good reasons to be in Fusenet. Which is important, because FuseNet is a network, sharing and jointly organizing actions are at the core of it, and that asks for commitment of the members.