The SOFT Innovation Prize is being offered to highlight and reward the excellence in innovation that can be found in fusion research as well as the quality of the researchers and industries involved. Following the successful running of this contest in coordination with SOFT 2014 (Symposium on Fusion Technology 2014), the European Commission is rerunning the contest in coordination with the next SOFT in 2016. There are no specific categories for this prize. Contestants are free to submit an application concerning any physics or technology innovation that has been or is being developed in magnetic confinement fusion research and that has a market potential or has been taken up (or recognised) by industry to be further developed for the market.
Fusion research encompasses innovation in the domains of physics and technology over a wide variety of specialisations. Fusion researchers are constantly challenging the scientific state-of-the-art and improving the technology thereby creating the conditions for innovation, much of which can be exploited in other science and industrial sectors for the benefit of society.
By awarding the ‘SOFT Innovation Prize’, the European Commission will showcase innovations in this research sector giving visibility to the most dynamic, forward-looking and innovative researchers, research teams or industrial contestants. This visibility will provide greater potential for valorisation of the research, and the contest will stimulate the research community globally to develop a stronger innovation and entrepreneurial culture in fusion research. The increased competition through a worldwide contest will stimulate EU research and innovation in particular.