Update from the Gates Foundation (Joe Shea) [Updated: Bill Gates’ Office Responds]

This post from Joe Shea should interest people here — thanks for getting in touch with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Joe!

I just had a conversation with a press person at the Gates Foundaton (Lydia Walker, (206) 709-3100), and have some good and some bad news. The bad news first: The Gates Foundation does not and will not have any role in providing money for cold fusion research.

The good news: What may be contemplated is a personal investment from Mr. Gates. Just to re-state this: the Gates Foundation is not involved at all in this issue, and calls the headline incorrect.. I am awaiting word on the investment issue from his personal office, which may or may not respond to my inquiry (I imagine this kind of investment would not be revealed until it is made, if it ever is; this doesn’t mean that an investment is any less likely; Mr Gates has a longstanding interest in the topic).

UPDATE: More from Joe Shea this evening:

I just got a response from Mr. Gates’ personal office from his Director of Communications, Jonah Godlman. He said:

“I am in Bill Gates’s personal office. Regarding your inquiry to the foundation on Bill’s trip to Rome: Bill was at the ENEA last week on a personal trip to learn more about the innovative work the agency is doing. The visit was a wide-ranging session covering lots of topics. He was not there as a representative of the foundation, nor are there any plans for funding or other partnerships between the ENEA and the foundation.”

  • Paul Maher

    I have advocated for a new energy paradigm for about 3 years. I have collected 50 new and exciting ways of extracting energy from the environment. LENR is currently the leader of the pack as far as I can make out, however there are other contenders of note such as Zero Point Energy. There are also big increases in Photovoltaic efficiency. I am going to take a shot at sharing the entire list. It’s pretty long, perhaps it will not post. The trick is to get on the right bus, or train if you will. I refer to the North Carolina Locomotive at the end of Dr. Joseph Zawodny’s first NASA Youtube video concerning LENR.

    Here are a few links first

  • friendlyprogrammer

    Thought it was 16 weeks which should end in 3 days.. Dang. Is it two more weeks?

  • towerofbabel

    If Randal Mills can produce the device he is describing, it will be much more useful. We’ll just have to wait and see. Things seem to be coming to a head.

  • GreenWin

    According to the University of Verona, (ECW today) that is the case. I doubt it’s a “donation.” ENEA is a State operated agency of the Italian government. He could be funding a comprehensive series of experiments – or just gathering facts for a more commercial investment.

  • Robyn Wyrick

    “I am pretty sure there is not going to be a second place winner” — now that is a very interesting speculation. It does make you wonder.

  • Robyn Wyrick

    That’s a tricky standard. You could say it about any large investor. From what we tend to believe on this site, any large investor would be a fool to not invest in LENR. Certainly *some* percentage are not fools.

  • bkrharold

    Not to mention the endless “important” updates which hijack your computer for lengthy periods when you are trying to get work done.

  • http://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/ barty

    News on Bill Gates: UnivrMagazine clearly says that Bill Gates was there for one reason: LENR

    http://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/news/index.php/News/25-Bill-Gates-welcomed-by-Frederick-Testa-at-ENEA-Thanks-also-to-the-presence-of-sc/

  • kdk

    From my vantage, it seems somewhat peculiar that they would choose the ENEA to give money to, then again I don’t know all of the labs that are considered to be major movers in fusion research.

  • Fortyniner

    I usually run outdated versions of Windows (Vista Pro at the moment), (a) because I am tight (I usually assemble my computers mostly from cast-off parts scavenged from one of my kids) and (b) because after umpteen updates – which are sometimes virtual re-writes of the OS – they tend to run reasonably well compared with the initial offerings.

  • Fortyniner

    Even though the hedging response from Godlman leaves open the possibility that Gates might personally make some donation to ENEA, I think we can safely forget the idea that there will be any game-changing investment from this quarter.

    However, who is to say what else is going on in the background. Gates is a highly intelligent opportunist with a network of well heeled contacts, and fingers in many pies. Given his interest in CF, it seems entirely possible that he may either be quietly backing one or more commercially orientated ‘dark horses’, or technologies that will tie in with CF when it becomes commercially available.

    For the moment though, everything seems to continue to rest with Rossi and IH.

    • Bob Greenyer

      When you have listened to investors and financiers as I have over the years, you learn a thing or two.

      One is what I call the bait for IP approach, first, they say they are interested in investing in a parties “important work”, then they arrange a fact finding mission, but say that it is not necessary for any NDAs. The investor or the investing organisations’ representative, loosely mentions a sum of money that is justifiably within reach, but game changing for the IP holder, this clouds the IP holders judgment as to the appropriate level of discretion that should be deployed during the fact finding mission. They can spill all the beans they can to try and get the bait, ideally the ‘investor’ has experts that would be able to absorb and understand the key points and ask pertinent questions.

      Sometimes, there is enough captured to replicate the IP holders work, other times, the ‘investors’ will discover they don’t have all of the pieces of the puzzle, and they may very well later go and invest. In the meantime, the IP holder will be ready to accept a much lower sum than the original bait, which would have been all that was ever going to be on the table. Investors know that if you pay too much, you might actually get less done.

      This is why it is so much nicer to be involved in Live Open Science, LOS is impervious to these mind games, the MFMP goes out of its way to tell everyone what it knows. The people that do good work get recognised.

      I do not believe that Bill Gates is in this category, his proven philanthropic work is one reason – the main reason is that he will know from experience, you cannot get every piece of the puzzle in one meeting… If he does not know this, then the MFMP does, even with open support of Celani, it took very many months before we were able to get him to identify key aspects – it is not that he was avoiding telling us, it was just that they were automatic for him to do and so they were not in his mind as things that must passed on to others.

      Furthermore, Bill Gates really wants simple, affordable nuclear. Bill understands that only nuclear, with its millions of more times than chemical potential energy, that is not derived from the sun or a solar related process, is the only long term answer to the energy problem. He now has a deep understanding of the problems of all other Nuclear energy methods that he has explored.

      Lastly, Bill will know that the right people to involve are the people that are already the best in class – and to throw into that mix some fresh enquiring minds.

      I therefore conclude that he will invest, but that the aforementioned $1billion is just a headline grabbing figure (and the importance of that should not be understated). The figure will be his long-term fund for all nuclear in the coming decades – it is a huge amount of money that LENR research would find difficult to spend as, in general, LENR does not require buildings the size of football pitches (though TechNova do have equipment even bigger that they have used for LENR).

      ENEA is a good choice. But there are others, many of whom are elderly and that might carry with them the last piece of the puzzle, or have it in them to find it – the world needs to act now, and I applaud Bill for finally testing the veracity of this area of nuclear research – I hope that all of the researchers the MFMP has met over the past few years can be enabled to work as one team and build the New Fire together.

      • Gerrit

        Will we soon see a BGINR “Bill Gates Institute for Nuclear Renaissance”

        The acronym would be perfect.

        • Bob Greenyer

          that is good

      • Bruce Williams

        Bob, this is an excellent contribution to this discussion, thank you.

        • Bob Greenyer

          Thank you Bruce, I have 2 young children and a third on the way – I feel duty bound to do all I can to see that future generations can live a life of opportunity, in a world that is not further denuded, but returned to its former richness, some of that dwindling diversity that I have enjoyed should be there for them also.

          It is with a heavy heart that I hear of the passing of great New Fire researchers, something that has happened quite a lot in recent years. Given that even when you are working with the full hands off cooperation of experienced players – a little key facts can take a long time to extract – it is critical in my mind that we as a species enable the effective documentation of their potential contributions before it is not possible.

          Peter Gluck is totally right in this respect – his mantra is Ego Out – and basically, what he is saying is, if someone has worked so long to develop something important – it makes a mockery of the use of their life if they carry the secrets to their graves – I say, don’t be pointless, make a point.

          We must have no more great inventions lost to the one thing we can all be sure of other than taxes.

      • Axil Axil

        There are many false roads in LENR. With so many bad choices available, it
        is easy for a LENR backer to travel down one of these false roads to
        a dead end. Attachment to false theory will stop correct engineering
        of a cold fusion system dead in its tracts. Rossi picked the right
        road, because he was not wedded to a invalid theory. But, the chances
        are excellent that a LENR backer will pick the wrong researcher and
        follow his dead end road. That path to nowhere will waste invaluable
        resources in stumbling down that unproductive path.

        Most of the old time LENR workers follow dead end paths. The attempt to find hot fusion and neutrons are among the most counterproductive and abrasive to science of these paths.

        I believe, the path that has not yet been recognized by orthodox science is the only path to truth.That path is very difficult to believe in at this early juncture and
        involves the connection or even the equivalence of the electromagnetic force with the weak force. This path will be the most denigrated by the supporters of the standard modal of particle physics.

        From the beginning, there has been a tenuous but valid line of theory held by a few involved with that “true” belief over the years. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that a white knight would ever optimize his support by funding such a
        speculative line of research to trod along that correct path. He will take the path most traveled. So sad… to see those future generations denied that life of opportunity to comply with convention.

        • Bob Greenyer

          Bill Gates does not back one horse, in the work it the B&MG Foundation – he takes many roads to achieve the goals set by that body – if he is serious – he will do the same in LENR.

          • Axil Axil

            The visit of Bill Gates at ENEA’s Frascati Lab (Nov 12) and his discussion with the Italian leading cold fusionist Prof. Vittorio Violante is indeed excellent news! Violante is the absolute champion of palladium metallurgy and how palladium supports cold fusion using deuterium. He is a gifted researcher and a fighter for the truth in cold fusion.

            But that is the problem with Frascati’s solution to LENR. Palladium and deuterium is a dead end road that has defeated LENR progress for 25 years. The true road to LENR is the Rossi road: nickel and hydrogen.

            Going further it seems to me, when only a transition metal and a hydrogen isotope combination is used by Mizuno and for that matter Godes, the reaction produces a small COP of 2 or less. This is another dead end.

            When a “secret sauce” is added that being a “Alkali Metal Hydride” such as potassium or lithium, the COP generated by the reaction goes way up. Its looks like there exists a good possibility that both Mizuno and Godes will not produce a useful reaction until they add an alkali metal hydride to their reaction designs. Godes is less likely to do this because he is irrevocably committed to an invalid theory of the reaction.

  • Freethinker

    🙂

  • jousterusa

    It’s published on the Internet; it’s not her personal number. I have quite a lot of confidence in the people who visit this site.

  • bfast

    I believe that as a charitable foundation, LENR is outside of the scope of the Gates Foundation. It does, however, fall inside the scope of Bill Gates personally. He is clearly willing to take a broader view than the mainstream, and he clearly has had a longstanding interest in nuclear energy.

    • Sanjeev

      If Gates funds LENR research personally, it will be much better. It will be more than a simple charity, it can become a profitable business.
      Of course nothing can be said till he actually does this in public.

  • Bob Greenyer

    This is how Bill Gates felt about Nuclear in April 21, 2010 in the year before Rossi’s first public demonstration in 2012.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbbq_KdPzjE

    At 4:44 he talks about the group HE (not B&M Foundation) is backing, they use U238, he says

    “…because we have fast Neutrons, we have this Neutron budget that’s very different, now our main problem is the material science problem – is these damn Neutrons – uh – degrade the cladding and everything – we don’t have a predictable way of saying over a 40 year lifetime – uh – how various materials deal with that.”

    Then the Kicker… he dismissively says…

    “If you look at the Fusion guys, their Neutrons are like a thousand times worse than our Neutrons, but even ours are, are… those guys [hot fusion] have 14 MEV Neutrons – good luck to them!”

    He starts smiling and goes on…

    “People should work on that – that is NOT an easy thing in terms of the economics.”

    Given that:

    1. his own investment since this video was made 3.5 years ago hasn’t yielded cheap ubiquitous, safe and easy to deploy energy

    2. the very obvious dismissal of the practicality of hot fusion given his own real experience of his nuclear investment

    3. this was pre Rossi

    4. this was pre-Fukashima

    5. the fact that he was looking at small reactors in a lab with Vittorio Violante

    There is no doubt in my mind that Bill Gates is looking at LENR.

    • Daniel Maris

      Very persuasive reasoning, Bob.

    • Buck

      Bob,

      Fantastic!!! You present the evidence that Gates is no fool when it comes to knowing the relevant details of nuclear physics and recognizing their consequences. I think it fair to say: Bill Gates does his homework and his judgment is not clouded by glad-handing.

      Like you, I certainly don’t think Gates got on his plane with a large entourage and just flew over to Italy on a lark . . . he knew exactly why he went and I think it very reasonable to presume he had done his homework. Given his resources, it likely included a fully detailed “50 page report” on the status of LENR, including ITPR1 & ITPR2. Given the presence of Lowell Wood, I don’t think the “50 Pager” missed anything . . . especially if he was involved in the final editing.

      It is no wonder Gates is smiling; comparing the absolute benevolent simplicity of an E-Cat dog-bone versus the massive complexity of a poisonous hot fusion reactor. He sees another “DOS” in the rough.

      • GreenWin

        And Gates is also self-educated on the problems with fission. The travelling wave reactor still irradiates its confinement. And requires a complex liquid sodium coolant system. As noted before, Gates will do better to partner with IH as their tech is well ahead of ENEA. But for public education on LENR – the ENEA visit has done its job.

        • Fortyniner

          Exactly – the signal given by Gates’ public interest in cold fusion is much more important than any money (and probably completely intentional).

      • Ophelia Rump

        Gates made his fortune back engineering the competition and driving them out of the market with an inferior knockoff and a superior business model.

        LENR is prime for back engineering.

        • Heath

          I believe he is back at Microsoft helping Nadella make the transition away from the Balmer way of doing things. Business strategy is his strong suit.

    • Gerrit

      I can just imagine that on one of those ENEA visit photos Bill is asking “How fast are LENR neutrons?” And Violante answering that there are almost no neutrons and the ones that have been measured are slow.

      I wonder when (if) it will be publicly announced that Gates is going to fund cold fusion research. That news would give the mainstream media something to think about.

    • bitplayer

      Interesting to note that Gates still has a competitive attitude (“good luck to them!”). Not resting on his laurels, wants to make stuff happen. “Have we got a deal for you…”

    • Donk970

      I know Gates has funded work on traveling wave fission reactors that are supposed to be able to burn spent LWR fuel but I haven’t heard anything recently.

  • Bob Greenyer

    At DAVOS Bill first quotes the importance of new energy and recognises the slow pace and problems with storage of alternative energy and the fact that it is not a priority for government research investment because of the payback horizon [is not within a politically useful time-frame]

    http://youtu.be/aen6ubFLSmo?t=21m32s

    In his second segment he is specifically asked if he is going to broaden the remit of the foundation, and he says that the focus of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation will remain the same, helping farmers, solving health issues

    “The focus of our foundation for my lifetime will be these health and agricultural issues, uh, you’ve gotta specialise, uh we think that we can go from a world where 6 million children a year are dieing, get that down to under 2 million and so we’re gonna stay focussed on those things uh, until we achieve health equity where if you are born in a poor country, you’re no more likely to die than any other child on the planet.”

    http://youtu.be/aen6ubFLSmo?t=52m25s

    That says 1. Nothing about his own personal capacity, he is keen to mention the specialisation as being that of the foundation 2. Helping create an affordable means to desalinate water would help farmers.

    For me, it is interesting WHY Mishal Husain would specifically ask Bill if he was broadening the foundations remit. When you are preparing questions for something like that Q&A, which I have done before, you often have a discussion with each member of the panel informally, where interesting things are revealed off the record. As an experienced interviewer, Mishal would the seek to weave a narrative during the allotted time slot drawing from her understanding of those more informal moment. She may have asked Bill thinking there would be a big reveal, but leaving it to Bill the freedom to not have to claim or deny. Bill takes the foundation line.

  • jousterusa

    I just got a response from Mer. Gates’ personal office, through a man named Jonah Godlman. He said:

    “I am in Bill Gates’s personal office. Regarding your inquiry to the foundation on Bill’s trip to Rome: Bill was at the ENEA last week on a personal trip to learn more about the innovative work the agency is doing. The visit was a wide-ranging session covering lots of topics. He was not there as a representative of the foundation, nor are there any plans for funding or other partnerships between the ENEA and the foundation.”

    • Gerrit

      Great work Joe !

    • Bob Greenyer

      Joe, this is very important information, thank you for sharing. I would prefer if he supported LENR research personally, it would show he has real courage to not leave any stone unturned in his pursuit of making a better world.

      Reducing the birthrate and lowering mortality rates in the young is good to slow the growing problem and reduce waste. Helping farmers reduces extreme suffering – but solving the energy crisis (and at the same time solving the water crisis) helps more than humanities suffering, it stops the destruction of the world that supports us.

      All over the this world, forests are cut for simple cooking. In one Indian state, communities of self sufficient forest tribes are being forced of their lands so that the coal etc. can be mined from under what will become ex-forest – this permanently destroys lives and habitat.

      • psi2u2

        The existing energy corporations are after unobtanium.

    • GreenWin

      Thanks Joe. You continue to pave the path to our LENR future with honest reporting. I agree with Bob Greenyer, a decision to personally fund ENEA CF puts Bill Gates in the same arena as Sidney Kimmel and Industrial Heat investors – Bill is putting his personal reputation on the line. As have hundreds of qualified scientists and researchers before him.
      That Bill understands the gargantuan problems in hot fusion is the best confirmation he is NOT interested in ITER or any other hot fusion scheme. It seems reasonable that Bill invest in a State energy agencyalready partnered with the U.S. government. That of course is the long established ENEA/DARPA cold fusion partnership. ENEA does hot fusion research which provides “plausible deniability” for Gates, and classified DARPA projects. This appears to be another step in the highly managed program to introduce LENR to the general public. Well done Joe.

      • bachcole

        Did I miss something? I have seen no evidence (yet) that Bill Gates is funding cold fusion.

        • psi2u2

          Only circumstantial evidence suggesting the strong likelihood that he is about to do so.

  • Gerrit

    The reaction of the press person sounds like she thinks cold fusion is a big no no and the Gates foundation should not be tainted by such headlines.

    I wonder if the same press person could explain why Bill Gates visited ENEA ?

    Is she saying that Bill Gates and his foundation advisor buddy Wood visited ENEA in private and not in any way as representatives of the foundation ?

    • bfast

      I think that LENR is outside the scope of the foundation, as the foundation is a charitable organization.

  • SiriusMan

    It is well known that Bill Gates has invested in other next-gen nuclear startup companies.

    e.g.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TerraPower

    As far as I can tell, these have been personal investments, not through his Foundation – confirm anyone?

    If so, this is entirely consistent with earlier events….

  • http://renewable.50webs.com/ Christopher Calder

    Coincidence/irony

    I emailed Elon Munsk this morning about investing in LENR and now I found outside my house a parked Tesla Model S. I have never seen one before. This one is in dark red and looks like some kind of Jaguar sedan. Great looking car. No, not a gift or a visit, just someone in my city took the plunge and purchased a very expensive car. Maybe in LA they are common, but not here.

    I emailed a dozen billionaires today, even some in the oil and gas industry. My suggestion to them was to own a stake in the technology that will inevitably replace their bread and butter. That way the cannot lose.

    • jousterusa

      Wow, the power of coincidence! Great work, Christopher!

    • Bob Greenyer

      Can you ask the New York Federal reserve where Germanys’ 292 tonnes of Gold is, or for that matter, the 1500 tonnes that the Swiss might vote to have re-patriated in 12 days time? Maybe you could be lucky twice!

  • EEStorFanFibb

    Joe, what evidence do you have for this? >>>>> “What may be contemplated is a personal investment from Mr. Gates.” Thanks.

    • jousterusa

      Just the evidence I cite, of his longtime personal interest and his recent visit.

      • psi2u2

        It does not sound unreasonable to interpret that “may be” as an “is.” They would never say “is.”

        • EEStorFanFibb

          If I understand Joe correctly “they” never said “What may be contemplated is a personal investment from Mr. Gates.” That was just Joe’s own statement.

          • psi2u2

            Sorry. My bad. Thank you for stopping a rumor. 🙂

  • Freethinker

    😀 So it goes…. But there is still room for a serious donation to some project at least.