Customer Stories

General Fusion

Three technical Challenges to help transform the world’s energy supply

General Fusion is transforming the world’s energy supply with clean, safe and abundant fusion energy. The company ran a pilot of three Challenges with InnoCentive, each of different Challenge types and each focusing on different technical fields – plasma science, mechanical engineering and engineering physics. General Fusion ended up making a total of $36,500 in awards to six Solvers, gaining valuable ideas from places they wouldn’t usually look and receiving increased media interest in both the company and the Challenges.

Challenge 1 - Method for Sealing Anvil under Repetitive Impacts against Molten Metal

Background: General Fusion was seeking a new method to seal a metal cylinder and the metal surface of the cylindrical hole.

Solutions: The Theoretical Challenge received 64 submissions from 17 countries.

Result: General Fusion awarded $20,000 to MIT-trained mechanical engineer and inventor listed on 35 patents. The company has since contracted the Solver to integrate his design into the company’s specific setup.

Challenge 2: Data-Driven Prediction of Plasma Performance

Background: General Fusion was interested in identifying patterns in experimental plasma shot data, asking Solvers to produce an algorithm capable of early prediction of overall shot performance. The Challenge included a live leader scoreboard and Solvers were provided with extensive data from one of General Fusion’s experimental plasma injectors.

Solutions: The RTP Challenge received 16 submissions from 11 countries.

Result: General Fusion awarded a total of $6,500 to two Solvers, one from Italy and one from Canada. The latter was a technical Oscar winner for his work in Hollywood image processing - General Fusion are currently discussing possible future collaboration opportunities with them.

Challenge 3: Fast Current Switch in Plasma Device

Background: General Fusion was looking for a method to quickly and reliably induce a substantial current to jump a 5-10 cm gap within a few hundred microseconds.

Solutions: The Ideation Challenge received 46 submissions from 18 countries.

Result: General Fusion awarded a total of $10,000 to three Solvers – two from the USA and one from Canada. The solutions were novel ideas that General Fusion had not previously considered.

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