Just to add....
The history of Big Innovations or Technology Jumps do not favor the large. They favor the small and nimble.
That's an over-generalization.
Some projects need only a genius, and others need brute money. Fusion hungers for both.
The phrase "Manhattan-Project" (as a metaphor for speeding tech development) is over-used. The actual Manhattan project was more a matter of materials science (how to separate isotopes) than physics research. By the time the project started, there were multiple candidates for the materials problems (centrifuges, gaseous disfusion, and others) and it took brute cash to test them all. The physics question was already answered (get enough of the right stuff in one place, and boom!).
Some research isn't ready for such mass investment.
I don't have the science chops to back this up, but my sense is brute cash would be useful in fusion -- if not now, then soon.
Why not the same device in various configuations -- geometrically, and materials? What about different capacitor discharge rates? Different gases and fuel combinations? Different pressures and different insulators? Ever variable becomes more complex when you consider it doesn't exist apart from the other variables -- try 'em all.
The great majority of money spent would be wasted, at least in one sense (duplication, failures) but why wait 50 years to learn the secret is beryillium instead of copper, or to learn the scaling laws don't apply and a particular configuration is the sweet spot? Why wait 50 years to decide stellartors were the right idea, and go back to them (as Princeton tried to do recently until the latest NCSX was canceled)?
Industrial civilization may not have 50 years.
And once the basic fusion questions are answered (with a crude impractical device that generates net energy) the engineering occurs were big resources are undoubtedly needed. There will be millions more variables that affect durability, reproduceability, servicing, safety, fuel storate, transport and so on.
The earliest guy to figure this out was possibly Tom Edison. He invented very little -- his main contribution was the research lab where well funded teams with lots of resources could try to implement his crude sketches. His lightbulb worked partly because he figured out previous attempts didn't have good enough vacuums, so he hired someone to make a better vacuum pump (the core idea -- bulb, vacuum and electrical resistance across a filament -- was not Edison's). He also has the resources to test many filaments -- brute cash at work again.
Nikola Tesla, in comparison, did his best work (research and engineering) in his head -- and laughed at Edison for having the diligence of bee looking for a needle in a haystack when a few calculations would solve the problem. Helps to be a genius... but his type are rare, and if one exists in the fusion world, no one knows about it yet.