On Monday 11 May, Prince Albert II had a videoconference from the Prince’s Palace with five post-doctoral students from the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project, a postdoctoral fellowship program.
Created in October 2007 under the International Atomic Energy Agency, the ITER project brings together countries from the European Union, Japan, China, the United States, Russia, India and South Korea. ITER is a research and development project which will, in the long term, construct a nuclear fusion power plant in Cadarache, France. This project aims to demonstrate the technical feasibility of nuclear fusion as a new source of energy which is renewable, reliable and respects the environment.
During the videoconference, Professor Bernard Bigot, General Director of ITER, expressed his gratitude to the Prince for the continued support of the program. Dr. Tim Luce, Head of the ITER Science Department, then gave an update on the progress of the ITER project, specifically for the attention of the Sovereign. Prince Albert II was able to discuss the progress of the five post-doctorate researchers according to their respective fields.
In 2008, the Principality of Monaco joined the project by signing a financial agreement (renewed in 2018) which provides funding for post-doctoral research. The Principality is the only country to subsidize research through yearly grants which finance the work of five post-doctoral researchers grouped together for a duration of 2 years.
The Monaco / ITER postdoctoral fellowship program enables young researchers to participate in one of the great scientific and technical challenges of the 21st century and to work in close collaboration with leading experts in fusion science and technology in an international setting.
The five post-doctorate students who are currently participating in the fellowship program are: Joyeeta Sinha (India), Jae-Sun Park (South Korea), Javier Artola (Spain), Satoshi Togo (Japan) and Jonathan Coburn (United States).