Safar Partners portfolio company Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) announces commercial fusion breakthrough.
One of Australia's largest pension funds, Hostplus, is also an early investor.
CFS and MIT successfully test world's strongest high-temperature superconducting magnet.
Sep 21, 2021, 10:35 ET
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Safar Partners, a seed- to growth-stage venture fund investing in technology companies, announced today that its portfolio company Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) achieved a historic breakthrough in clean energy generation through commercial fusion. CFS, in partnership with MIT, successfully tested the world's strongest high-temperature superconducting fusion magnet.
"Safar Partners congratulates the entire team at Commonwealth Fusion Systems for the extraordinary milestone achieved with the first-of-its-kind superconducting magnets," said Nader Motamedy, a Safar Managing Partner. "Fusion energy will provide a truly limitless opportunity for the future of our world. We are proud to be one of the first investors in CFS. We're excited to continue our collaboration and financial support as the company meets future milestones."
The historic test was conducted on September 5th at MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center. The findings established that the novel CFS magnets can create a powerful enough magnetic field to achieve net positive energy from fusion within a compact device known as a tokamak. Tokamaks use magnets to confine plasma within a donut-shaped device and have been built and tested worldwide. Using new commercially available high temperature superconductors (HTS) to build high field magnets will enable the company to build smaller, more cost-effective tokamaks to deliver the fastest path to commercial fusion energy.
"Commonwealth Fusion was the first of Safar's many investments in MIT ventures and spinout companies, and as such holds a very special place in our portfolio," said Arunas Chesonis, also a Safar Managing Partner. "Safar Partners' exposure to innovation initiatives within MIT range from artificial intelligence and advanced materials to life sciences and clean energy technologies. Safar is excited to be so active in the Boston entrepreneurial ecosystem."
The early investment in CFS from Safar Partners includes a significant position held by Hostplus – one of Australia's largest pension funds with $68 billion in AUM, and an anchor investor in Safar Partners.
CFS CEO Bob Mumgaard explained that the record-breaking magnet was the product of three years of research, design, manufacturing and testing to perfect the highly efficient technology. The September 5th test at MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center demonstrated that, using a tiny fraction of the energy required in similar previous tests (30 watts as opposed to 200,000,000 watts), the CFS HTS magnet can generate intense magnetic fields capable of producing net positive energy from fusion reactions.
"There is now a clear path to fusion power and global clean energy for the first time," Mumgaard said. "The world needs a fundamentally new technology that will support efforts to decarbonize on a timeline that can mitigate climate change. This test of our magnet proves we have that technology, and we're on our way to producing clean, limitless energy for the entire world. It has been great to work with Safar and Hostplus who understand the power of technology to transform the world and have the wherewithal to enable the highest impact companies to grow to their full potential."
CFS' HTS magnet technology will next be used in "SPARC," a compact fusion device which is under construction in Devens, Massachusetts and is on track to demonstrate net positive energy from fusion by 2025. SPARC will pave the way for the first commercially viable fusion power plant.
"One of the best examples of our commitment to sustainability has been the partnership between Hostplus and Safar regarding our investment in Commonwealth Fusion Systems," said David Elia, CEO of Hostplus. "Fusion energy on the scale required to significantly decarbonize our planet is why Hostplus will continue to support CFS and MIT."
About Safar Partners
Safar Partners is a seed- to growth-stage venture fund investing primarily in technology companies out of MIT, Harvard, and the University of Rochester. Safar takes advantage of the principles of private equity to create value as our companies scale beyond initial prototypes. We accelerate the scaling of our portfolio companies through the formation of spinouts or joint ventures to address additional markets, industries, or geographies. For more about Safar Partners, visit https://www.safar.partners.
CFS is on track to bring fusion energy technology to market. CFS was spun out of MIT and combines the decades of research experience of MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center with the innovation and speed of the private sector. Supported by the world's leading investors in breakthrough energy technologies, CFS is uniquely positioned to deliver the fastest path to commercial fusion energy. For more about CFS, visit http://www.cfs.energy.
SOURCE Safar Partners
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