The FuseNet project is closed, long live the FuseNet Association!
30 September 2013 was the last day of the FP7 ‘coordination and support’ action Fusenet, which had then ran for 5 years. Only days earlier, 26 fusion students received their European Fusion Doctoral and Master’s Certificates in a very successful event at JET, organized and sponsored by FuseNet. As was stated by the EFDA leader Francesco Romanelli (photo on right), the training and education of the next generation of fusion researchers is crucial for the successful realization of the European fusion Roadmap, the completion and exploitation of ITER and the preparations for DEMO. And that is exactly where FuseNet has contributed and will continue to play an important role as FuseNet Association.
The FuseNet project was born as a joint action by 36 players in fusion education in Europe. Its aims were to: make fusion science and technology more visible and attractive for interested students; create individual learning opportunities including e.g. internships in industry; stimulate and coordinate joint educational activities such as summer schools and the PhD event; develop and jointly realize educational tools such as hands-on experiments and virtual reality tools; establish joint educational goals for Master and PhD programmes on fusion; and last not but least: make the network sustainable.
Today we boast a network of well over 40 fee-paying members, including universities, research labs and companies from all over Europe, a fully operational Executive office and Academic Council, and a compact Board of Governors. All of the goals of the project have been achieved, plus a number of enhancements that were not in the original application.
New educational hard and software has been created at universities across Europe and will remain available to students. Hundreds of students have been helped to attend conferences or workshops, do internships abroad, broadening their experience. The website http://www.fusenet.eu, which offers an overview the many things fusion education has to offer, was visited by more than 4000 unique visitors last month.
The network has brought many educators and educational institutes into contact with each other, best practices have been exchanged, and durable relationships have formed. Spanning Europe, from east to west, from south to north, FuseNet is ready to take up its role in training and educating the next fusion generation, in the framework of the European Roadmap.
I should like to express my thanks to the European Commission and all of the FuseNet members for their continued interest and support. I especially thank all those who were actively involved in the work packages, and most in particular the work package leaders, who did a great job that often extended way beyond their ‘paid’ task.
Thanks to their commitment FuseNet is ready for the future.
Prof. Niek Lopes Cardozo
Chairman FuseNet Association