Sandia National Laboratories-Proposal

At the end of 2011 I had hit a limit on how far my available equipment could take testing.  It took most of 2012 to come to terms with the idea that I needed to either buy all new equipment or pursue a different approach.  I tried a number of different avenues.  The key was finding somebody that had the background and equipment to finish off testing.  In addition they had to have street cred.

The national laboratory system has a nice little feature called “work for others” which allows anybody willing to pay their rates to have research done by the lab.  There are about 12 national laboratories that have nuclear research capabilities.  I sent emails to all of them.  Only a couple of them replied.  The replies were from non technical people who had the unfortunate responsibility of answering emails. Only Sandia actually followed through and moved me on to somebody willing to talk to me.

I went out to Albuquerque for the Trillinos conference and managed to have a meeting with a person who would be my contact point with Sandia.  That was my major accomplishment for 2012!  It is kind of weird that having a meeting is an accomplishment.

It took several months to get an NDA in place and a month to get in my hands this year’s first major accomplishment: A rough order of magnitude (ROM) for the cost of responding to my request for proposal to do the investigation to determine the viability of my fusion reactor design. Getting this far is a good indication that they are interested in the design.  I am happy. Well as happy as somebody can be who is going to be spending a significant chunk of change to get told how much he really needs to spend to accomplish a task.

I would like to try crowd sourcing the main project once I know how much it is going to cost.  This is going to be difficult.  There is nothing useful that anybody can receive for donating.  The actual design is secret so donators will not know what makes this project unique.  The most that can be revealed is that this is a version of a “fusor”.  I am looking for help and suggestions.  This is going to have to be one incredible sales pitch and campaign.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Sandia National Laboratories-Proposal

  1. Joe Strout says:

    I think crowdsourcing the funding is a great idea, IF you abandon the idea of keeping the design secret.

    Secret designs are the hallmark of con-men. I don’t believe you are one, but that is how it will appear. You have an amazing new design for nuclear fusion, that will succeed where thousands of brainy Ph.D.’s have failed, but you can’t tell us what it is or how it works? Riiiiiight…

    Furthermore, I see no reason to keep it secret. If you really HAVE invented a new design that works where others have failed, your future will be quite secure even if you give the design away. You will be the expert, the instigator, the go-to guy for any company that wants to commercialize it. Hire yourself out as a consultant for six figures. Anybody serious about it will happily pay. Or, if you want more control, file a patent first, and THEN put up your KickStarter page. That protects your IP while still allowing anybody to inspect your design.

    • It is a problem. I had this discussion with M. Simon who has a rather intense point of view on open IP. The problem is that it is in direct conflict with what VCs and companies are looking for who would fund this. Their first question is where is the IP. My only option seemed to be the option I have chosen which is to fund somebody whose reputation (street credibility) in this case Sandia National Labs would limit any appearance of scam . I am not the one getting paid, they are. I have made it very clear to them that it is their decision to continue or not. If they decide there is no reason to continue pursuing research and development then it is publication time. Considering the disdain that any fusor discussion seems to generate in the nuclear fusion community they have felt this design has enough potential to at least give it a hearing.
      I looked through a number of high earnings crowd-sourcing pitches and there really isn’t that much technical detail in them. There are some defining parameters which can be done for this design. You and I want to know what the defining details are. But that doesn’t seem to be a requirement for a sales pitch. What I do intend on doing is presenting the design to a few people via NDA who would be willing to write a testimonial. I expect that most people who would contribute would want an expert opinion more than the technical details.

  2. Chris B. Behrens says:

    Congratulations! It sounds like you’re really on your way.

    I agree with Joe – if you can produce the throughput numbers, the VC’s will never get a bite at you – you’ll sail right past them, like a lot of people with breakout products do. Having said that, I don’t think there’s any harm in building up some momentum and lead time. Keep it secret until the time is right, but for control and image management reasons, and not necessarily IP reasons.

Comments are closed.