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Research and innovation

SOFT Innovation prize

Rewarding achievements in fusion energy. What the prize is, why it's needed, value, how to apply, timeline.

What is the SOFT Innovation Prize?

Fusion powers the sun and all the stars of the universe. Harnessing fusion power on earth would provide sustainable energy on an almost limitless scale, to supply the needs of a growing world population. Fusion energy is safe, has no difficult waste issues and is climate friendly.

The SOFT Innovation Prize rewards outstanding achievements in fusion energy research showcasing opportunities of valorisation in the sector. It is intended for researchers and/or industrial actors who find new solutions, possibly with wider applications, to the challenges of fusion.

The name SOFT stands for Symposium on Fusion Technology - the conference where the prize is awarded. Following the success of the previous editions, the European Commission is holding the contest again in conjunction with the SOFT of 2024.

Why is there a prize?

The fundamental basis of the Euratom programme is supporting innovation across the product development chain from research to market.

Fusion researchers are constantly challenging the scientific state of the art and improving the technology. This drive lay the basis the conditions for innovation, much of which can be exploited in other sciences and industrial sectors for the benefit of society.

This contest aims to stimulate the research community to strengthen innovation and foster an entrepreneurial culture in fusion research.

The prize also highlights excellence in fusion research and innovation, as well as the quality of the researchers and industries involved.

Award criteria

There are no specific categories for this prize. Participants are free to submit an application concerning any physics or technology innovation that has been developed in magnetic confinement fusion research and that has market potential or has been taken up (or recognised) by industry to be further developed for the market.

Entries will be assessed on

  • originality and replicability
  • technical excellence
  • economic impact, exploitation and plans for further development

Proposals are studied by an independent jury composed of experts in technology transfer, from business and academia.

Prize value

  • 1st place: €50,000
  • 2nd place: €30,000
  • 3rd place: €20,000


Who can apply

Researchers, research teams or industry players can apply. Please read carefully section 6 and section 7 of the Rules of Contest.


How to apply

You must submit your proposal via the EU Funding and Tender opportunities portal.

Please read carefully the Rules of Contest.



For more information email RTD-FUSIONatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (subject: SOFTprize) (RTD-FUSION[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)


  1. 26 September 2023

    Opening of the contest

  2. 15 February 2024

    Deadline for submission of applications

  3. 23 – 27 September 2024

    The prize will be awarded during the 33rd Symposium on Fusion Technology (SOFT 2024) taking place in Dublin


  • News article

Research and innovation news alert: This prize gives recognition to outstanding researchers or industries who have found innovative ideas or proposed new solutions in fusion research.

  • 2 min read