Bill Gates, co-founder and main shareholder of Microsoft, but also the richest and perhaps the most influential person in the world, has been interested for a long time in the activities in the field of frontier research.
Indeed, Gates has come a long way from when he was a teenager prodigy obsessed with writing computer codes, at the beginning of a four decades career leading to a digital revolution. Now, the “Bill Gates 2.0”, left Microsoft some years ago, can work full-time together with his wife Melinda giving his money away – he has a 67 billion dollar fortune – to make the world a better place, and he thinks that inventions are the key to success, a way to accomplish this goal.
In the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, there are over 1100 employees to help them decide which programs to fund, but Gates still visits sites around the world to see what works and what does not. And now one of Gates’ boldest and – as he says – most important adventures is to build a new kind of nuclear reactor. It would burn depleted uranium making it cleaner, safer and cheaper than today’s reactors. He hopes to have a prototype around 2022.
But he’s an optimist and still looking for new ideas and challenges.
So, it is not a surprise that Wednesday, after a meeting with the Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Gates visited the ENEA, i.e. the former Italian National Agency for Alternative Energies, which in 2009 organized the 15th International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF-15) in Rome, last year sponsored ICCF-18 held in the USA, and was engaged in the field of LENR also with an agreement signed in 2010 with the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and with many collaborations involving American Institutions and Universities.
Accompanied by the new head of ENEA Federico Testa, Gates toured the labs located near Rome, in Frascati, for a few hours, giving to its researchers – as prof. Vittorio Violante, who is the LENR Research Coordinator at the ENEA headquarters and responsible for the ENEA Task Force for Energy from Metal Hydrogen Systems since 2011 – the opportunity to describe in detail the research carried out by the Institute, which now is close to an economic agreement about funding by Bill Gates or by his Foundation for some research projects.
According to the present journalists, Gates first heard a presentation of the ENEA’s activities and then focused on cold fusion, frontier research in the field of nuclear fusion, sector in which these laboratories represent a center of excellence. Indeed, this is one of the world’s leading centers in nuclear fusion research, laser sources and particle accelerators since the ’50s, among the first to build a sophisticated machinery for fusion studies: the Tokamak Upgrade.
It’s quite funny that “Mr. Microsoft” was interested especially in LENR, a small research field also for the ENEA, whose activity is now directed mainly towards the development of technologies for magnetic and inertial confinement fusion, being involved in the project ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), so giving contributions in the fields of superconductivity, new materials, neutronics, security, remote handling and plasma physics.
Surely, Bill Gates 2.0 could better satisfy his deep curiosity towards inventions and Cold Fusion with a trip in Raleigh, USA. In 1994, he bought for $30 Millions the Da Vinci Codex – one of about 30 scientific paper left by the Italian genius Leonardo Da Vinci – which now is in his private office and is shown proudly to the guests. I wonder if Bill Gates’ recent and strong interest for LENR was just inspired by another Italian genius, but this is another story… 😉