32nd Symposium on Fusion Technology (SOFT 2022) in Dubrovnik

18-09-2022 - 23-09-2022

This biennial symposium on fusion technology is the most important conference in this field in Europe, bringing together scientists, engineers, industry representatives and exhibitors from all over the world  (ref. https://soft2022.eu/). Because of covid, the conference was partially online, but in the end about 2/3 of the about 1000 participants was present on site. The last time SOFT could be organized live was in 2018, the 2020 version was postponed several times till September 2022.

Next to a number of informative plenary sessions, the conference provided 3 parallel sessions where in-depth technical presentations were given, as well as almost 400 poster presentations, most of which from the various international fusion labs. All aspects of the conference could be witnessed online, enabled by the Fourwaves platform.

Also, there was a dedicated Industry Day containing presentations about latest developments of various European programs and associated industrial opportunities such as for ITER (both from F4E and from the ITER international organisation), IFMIF-DONES, and from EUROfusion about preparations for DEMO, the first European electricity-producing prototype fusion reactor.

Impressions of the ILO-net stand at SOFT 2022 in Dubrovnik

ILO-net had provided a stand with the on-site participation 5 Dutch companies active in Big Science projects (i.e. ATG Europe, Frencken Mechatronics, Heemskerk Innovative Technology, INCAA Computers, and Mat-Tech). The stand was placed in a central location on the exhibition and was used effectively as a home base for the Dutch participants and point of contact for interested visitors. Also, all Dutch participating companies were visible as exhibitors on the conference website.

Business-to-Business meetings could be arranged via the b2match business platform provided by Fourwaves, allowing to schedule on-site, hybrid and virtual meetings.  In addition, various social events were organized, providing the opportunity of networking in an informal setting. ILO-net was represented by Eric Boom, who could advise and connect the Dutch participants to various persons of interest. It was generally felt that the symposium was a success, amplified by the beautiful setting of the venue and the interesting city of Dubrovnik nearby.

Eric Boom, Jan Visser