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A pivotal year for FuseNet: 2013

Dear FuseNet friends,

Let me start this news article by wishing you all a happy and healthy 2013. May it bring large numbers of excellent and highly motivated students to our fusion education programmes!

2012 has been a very productive year for FuseNet. Many work packages delivered their final products, as a result of work that has been done over the past years. The successful development of activities such as the hands-on plasma laboratories, the joint PhD event, and the initiation of the matchmaking service between industry and academia, called for further exploitation, for which the European Commission granted an exceptional 1-year extension of the project. Do check out the FuseNet website for a full review of the achievements of FuseNet, as well the regular news items.

In 2012, the Fusenet Association – the legal entity that we jointly created to make our network sustainable - was started in earnest with the founding General Assembly meeting in Garching. There we established the Board of Governors and agreed all the basic principles of the Association, laid down in the rules of procedure.

Since then, also the Academic Council has been installed, as well as the administrative motor of the Association, the Executive Office. The number of members is steadily increasing. Presently we have 27 Association members, among which 9 research labs, 16 universities, ITER IO and 1 member from outside the EU (Kharkov). This year we will grow further and also accept industrial members to join the FuseNet Association.

With the FuseNet Association, we have the ambition and hope to play a central role in the implementation of the Euratom fusion education strategy under Horizon2020. In preparation for that, we have strengthened the administrative backbone of the Association.

For the FuseNet Association to be effective as the united voice of fusion education in Europe, we need the vast majority of academia, research labs as well as industry who are involved in fusion to be member. We are doing well so far, but aim for many more members. May I count on your help in disseminating information about FuseNet in your own network, such as companies you work with or university groups that have not been reached yet (brochures available).

We are all looking forward to the next General Assembly meetings (of both the Project and the Association) – kindly hosted by Evgenia Benova in Sofia, on 5-6 February.

In 2013 we shall close the FuseNet FP7 project (in Oct), whereas we expect to expand the activities of the Association to become the central organization in support of fusion education, and take up that role in Horizon2020.

With those exciting and challenging prospects, 2013 will be a pivotal year for FuseNet. Lets make it happen! For our students, for the fusion research programme.

Niek Lopes Cardozo (chairman of the Board)