F4E has and is currently making a concerted effort to develop and strengthen its relationship with European Fusion Laboratories (EFLs) who possess much of the expertise needed to build some of the systems being provided by Europe to the ITER project. To this end, a European Fusion Laboratory Liaison Officers (EFLO) Network has been created and its representatives gathered for the first time during a combined meeting with the F4E Industrial Liaison Officers (ILOs) at the F4E offices in June.
F4E Director Henrik Bindslev provided a comprehensive report on the progress of the ITER work and main highlights since the beginning of 2014. Activities and further ideas to strengthen the partnership between F4E and the EFLs were presented. It is extremely important for F4E to listen to the EFLs, one of its key stakeholders, emphasised the Director, as he highlighted the main actions which F4E is currently putting in place: simplifying and increasing flexibility in grant management, improving interaction between EFLs and F4E, and using EFL expertise. EFLOs were encouraged to raise issues of concern in their relation with F4E and put forward proposals to strengthen the partnership.
An information session on the strategy and status of implementation of the work related to the area of diagnostics, an area within F4E which is strongly linked to EFLs, was held. Sessions on ITER safety and Quality Assurance requirements, as well as Lump Sum Grants, also took place.
The next EFLO Network meeting will be in September on the occasion of the 28th Symposium on Fusion Technology (SOFT) taking place in San Sebastian, Spain, from 29 September – 3 October.