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Media Corner
11 July 2013

F4E moves forward following the latest Governing Board meeting

Governing Board Chair, Stuart Ward (centre).

New initiatives by Fusion for Energy (F4E) to enhance its engagement with European industry and fusion laboratories were welcomed by its Governing Board (GB) during its 27th meeting on 26 and 27 June in Barcelona. ‘We intend to renew our partnerships with European industry and fusion laboratories and make progress on all fronts to honour our commitment to the ITER project’, said Stuart Ward, the GB’s Chair. ‘During the past 6 months, the construction of the Tokamak building on the ITER site has started and the fabrication of a number of key components for the ITER project by European industry is underway, including the superconducting magnets and the vacuum vessel’, he added.

F4E’s Director, Professor Henrik Bindslev, described the renewed dialogue with the industrial liaison officers of Member States to seek opportunities for greater engagement by industry in F4E’s business opportunities and seeking an optimal sharing of risk between F4E and contractors, which will help to control costs. ‘We want to understand how to incentivise industry to participate in contracts with F4E and to have an equitable sharing of the risks’, said Professor Bindslev. The GB has adopted an industrial policy and policy on intellectual property rights and endorsed proposals from F4E on how to implement them.

Joaquín Sánchez, Chair of an ad hoc working group which was set up by the GB in December 2012 to explore how to enhance the partnership between F4E and European fusion laboratories, presented its report to the GB. ‘I am very pleased that the Governing Board has endorsed all of the working group’s recommendations and I am confident that this can bring about a real improvement in the cooperation between F4E and the European fusion laboratories that possess much of the knowledge required for ITER construction and operation’, said Dr Sánchez. Implementation of the working group’s recommendations, in particular the introduction of lump-sum grants, will be completed by the end of this year.

With the entry of Croatia into the European Union, it is necessary to change the F4E statutes so that the country is assigned voting rights. Consequently, the GB approved a proposal which will be decided upon by the Council of the European Union.

The mandate of several GB members was renewed for an additional 2 years from 1 July: Stuart Ward continues as Chair of the GB; Cor Katerberg remains Vice Chair of the GB and Chair of the Administration and Finance Committee; Joaquín Sánchez stays on as Vice Chair of the GB and Chair of the Technical Advisory Panel; and Beatrix Vierkorn-Rudolph continues as Chair of the Audit Committee. In addition, the mandate of Lisbeth Grønberg as Chair of the Executive Committee has been renewed for a period of 2 years from 1 September.

The summary of decisions and output documents are accessible here.


Background:

The Governing Board is responsible for the supervision of F4E in the implementation of its activities. It makes recommendations and takes decisions on a wide range of matters, such as adopting the financial regulation and its implementing rules, adopting the annual work programmes and budgets, approving the annual accounts and annual activity reports and adopting rules on industrial policy, intellectual property rights and the dissemination of information in agreement with the European Commission. Each member of F4E is represented on the Governing Board by two representatives, one of which has scientific and/or technical expertise in the areas related to its activities. Most decisions are taken by a two-thirds majority or a simple majority.

For further information, consult the F4E Governing Board section.

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