State governments as a source of funding?

Discuss funding sources for polywell research, including the non-profit EMC2 Fusion Development Corporation, as well as any other relevant research efforts.

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JoeStrout
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State governments as a source of funding?

Postby JoeStrout » Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:32 pm

The recent story about California funding polywell research appears to be false, but it raises an interesting notion. Should we be looking to state governments as a possible source of funding?

With stem cell research, for example, when the federal government vehemently dropped the ball, a number of state governments stepped up and provided their own research funding. Perhaps the same could apply here.

My own state is Colorado, which has a $7B general fund. I think California's is over $100B, but even so, we're only talking a couple million to get WB-7 up and running — that should be relatively small change even to an economy the size of Colorado's.

In most states, it's possible for a constituent to get an appointment with their governor. In ten minutes or so, how far do you think we could get in expressing the promise and potential of this research? Far enough for them to tell their staffers to look into it further? Or are we just going to get a smile, a handshake, and mentally lumped into the loony bin?
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Nanos
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Postby Nanos » Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:05 am

Having worked in government, the vast majority of people there will not even begin to understand if what they are hearing is real or not.

But, if you could find someone high enough up who has either a background which would enable them to understand enough to see its potentional, or happens to be a hobbist fusion person, who could take the ball and run with it, then I think you would stand a chance.

I did try talking to some of my own local politicans the other week about geothermal power (We actually have a working geothermal power station in the UK providing cheap electric.), but only got as far as one of them saying how he had looked into it 30 years ago when he was at university and dismissed it as worthless, wouldn't work and not worth talking about further :-(

Zixinus
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Postby Zixinus » Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:36 pm

Not a bad idea, however it is going to be difficult to draw a compelling argument without proof and evidence of our scheme.

However, if it can be done, a single state would fund WB-7 and WB-8 research, which is critical. If those give good results, then we have a green road. If those experiments fail utterly, well then, the money spent on it was relatively small and we still learned quite a bit regarding plasmas, and possibly laid ground for future work.

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Postby esecallum » Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:23 pm

Zixinus wrote:Not a bad idea, however it is going to be difficult to draw a compelling argument without proof and evidence of our scheme.

However, if it can be done, a single state would fund WB-7 and WB-8 research, which is critical. If those give good results, then we have a green road. If those experiments fail utterly, well then, the money spent on it was relatively small and we still learned quite a bit regarding plasmas, and possibly laid ground for future work.


need to make friends with these politicians...

or make poltical donations and then call in the favours...

best idea.

this is how congress works..

you just buy them.

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Postby MSimon » Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:33 am

Actually that is not the only way it works.

I have had some private communications recently that indicate at least a few members of Congress are keeping their eyes on what we are doing.

Without a payoff or campaign donation to any one.

Let me tell you what I expect.

If Dr. B's experiments work out in the next 6 to 9 months there will be a rush in Congress to support his efforts.

Remember, 9 months from now is the beginning of June 008. Election season will be ramping up big time.

What better promise than with sufficient funding our energy problems will be "solved".

I wouldn't be surprised if they "forced" $1 bn on the Navy and told them "full speed ahead". With that kind of money we might get a working reactor in 3 years instead of 5.

I see a Manhattan type project coming.

All speculation of course.

pstoller78
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Postby pstoller78 » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:04 pm

I hold great hope your speculation turns out to be correct. The fact energy issues are getting so much press lately could certainly work to our advantage, what better spotlight than a presidential race. Framing the situation in that context really puts an amount of pressure to have WB7 be completed in a very short time frame. Here's to hoping it can be completed quickly.

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Postby JD » Sat Sep 01, 2007 6:53 am

MSimon wrote:Actually that is not the only way it works.

I have had some private communications recently that indicate at least a few members of Congress are keeping their eyes on what we are doing.

Without a payoff or campaign donation to any one.

Let me tell you what I expect.

If Dr. B's experiments work out in the next 6 to 9 months there will be a rush in Congress to support his efforts.

Remember, 9 months from now is the beginning of June 008. Election season will be ramping up big time.

What better promise than with sufficient funding our energy problems will be "solved".

I wouldn't be surprised if they "forced" $1 bn on the Navy and told them "full speed ahead". With that kind of money we might get a working reactor in 3 years instead of 5.

I see a Manhattan type project coming.

All speculation of course.


Hmm interesting. Makes me wonder about time intervals. If this occurred a month or two ago that gives a property duration for a congressional inquiry to the Navy and then some additional research funds being made available.

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Postby MSimon » Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:32 am

JD,

I can't be sure of the exact time line, but your speculation roughly corresponds to things I know.

The Navy has discretionary funds for research. So a word from some Congress critters might move a small chunk quickly.

The bigger commitment for the 100 MW test may be a sign of Congressional funds in the offing.

Thoth
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Postby Thoth » Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:50 pm

MSimon wrote:The bigger commitment for the 100 MW test may be a sign of Congressional funds in the offing.


I've been lurking at the nasaspaceflight forum for many months now, ever since I saw the Google video. I've spent all these months absorbing, working through as much of the literature available out there gaining an understanding of the basic physics. My own background is ex-military officer, aerospace R&D, mathematics/physics/EE. The physics is compelling enough that I've convinced my partners to devote a few $100K's in our firm to coming up to speed on IEC fusion over the next year. Some of what we already do is related, or rather is potentially applicable.

I'm eager to get details on the new contract. Specifically, what 'commitment' to 100MW reactor means within the context of this contract. I have my own inquiries out there.

Here's hoping that we--the US--are still farsighted enough to see this through.

Anyway, thanks to all of you who have also devoted your time and energy.

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Postby JoeStrout » Sun Sep 02, 2007 5:49 pm

Thoth wrote:My own background is ex-military officer, aerospace R&D, mathematics/physics/EE. The physics is compelling enough that I've convinced my partners to devote a few $100K's in our firm to coming up to speed on IEC fusion over the next year. Some of what we already do is related, or rather is potentially applicable.

That's exciting — please keep us posted on your progress, at least as much as you can without sacrificing your business advantage.

It does seem to me that when the polywell approach is proven, there is going to be a LOT of money to be made by a lot of different companies, involved in different aspects of the business. Whenever you have a technological paradigm shift, a lot of companies (typically newer, smaller, and more nimble ones) end up profiting from it greatly, and other companies (typically the bigger, slower dinosaurs) end up missing out. But if you're already investing in it now, you'll be well positioned to be one of those who comes out ahead — hopefully way ahead! And I'll be cheering you on the whole way.
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Thoth
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Postby Thoth » Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:12 pm

JoeStrout wrote:
Thoth wrote:My own background is ex-military officer, aerospace R&D, mathematics/physics/EE. The physics is compelling enough that I've convinced my partners to devote a few $100K's in our firm to coming up to speed on IEC fusion over the next year. Some of what we already do is related, or rather is potentially applicable.


But if you're already investing in it now, you'll be well positioned to be one of those who comes out ahead — hopefully way ahead! And I'll be cheering you on the whole way.


Thanks for your encouragement.

Our motivation has a large dose of patriotism coupled with our disgust at the sheer amount of blood and treasure we need to spend to keep the oil habit. It is rather sickening to be funding both sides of a war. All the principals but one are service academy graduates. All of us served in either the first, second or both Gulf Wars among other places. We all have classmates and good friends still serving. So you see, we all have a healthy (or maybe unhealthy) dose of idealism. For example, we commit at least 2% of our yearly profits to worthy causes, all of them deliberately apolitical.

There is some long-term profit motive--as there should be--but it didn't take much convincing. Even a 1% chance of the Polywell succeeding is enough motivation given the potential payoff to humanity. Whatever we and others can contribute, including the forum participants, can only help.

Then there's the Moon and Mars...

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Postby JohnP » Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:12 am

Whenever you have a technological paradigm shift, a lot of companies (typically newer, smaller, and more nimble ones) end up profiting from it greatly, and other companies (typically the bigger, slower dinosaurs) end up missing out.


Can't say I know for sure but whoever had experience in high voltage and vacuum engineering could get into it. I'd think that GE, Raytheon, etc would get a chunk.


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