Critical for the success of the European fusion research programme is the successful completion of ITER, a fusion test facility currently under construction in the South of France, within a reasonable timeframe. ITER is expected to demonstrate the first "burning fusion plasma" at a reactor scale by 2020. The next step will be the construction of a demonstration fusion power plant (DEMO) which needs to be able to produce significant amounts of electricity by 2050.
In order to address these significant challenges, the European Commission has developed a partnership with a consortium of fusion laboratories from all EU Member States and Switzerland.
Under the Horizon 2020 Programme, the EU will provide support for the implementation of a comprehensive Joint Fusion Programme, which includes education and training as well as an integrated industrial policy in addition to basic fusion research. The main focus of the new Joint Programme will be on the development of a coordinated strategy for managing the transition from research to industrial application of the fusion technology.