DIFFER's mission is to perform leading fundamental research in the fields of fusion energy and solar fuels, in close partnership with academia and industry. The institute aims to play a leading role in coordinating and facilitating energy research in the Netherlands. DIFFER is a key part of the FOM and NWO energy research strategies. DIFFER pursues four equally important goals to achieve its mission: - DIFFER performs fundamental energy research and trains graduate and undergraduate students and technicians in the fields of fusion energy and solar fuels. - The institute designs, develops and operates the high-quality technical infrastructure and large scale experimental equipment needed to enable the large scale experimentel equipment for novel research on solar fuels and for its fusion research. - DIFFER aims to acquire a national coordinating role in fundamental energy research, joining together the existing research initiatives in the Netherlands into one coherent national research program. DIFFER strives for potential industrial applications and increased valorisation of energy research. - The institute will set up strategic collaborations and joint research programs with universities and Large Technological Institutes (LTI's).
A major research theme at DIFFER is to contribute to the European research programme on nuclear fusion, a programme which is co-ordinated and financially supported by Euratom via an Association Agreement. The Association Euratom-FOM is also responsible for the Dutch contribution to the European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA), signed 30 March 1999. The EFDA Agreement is part of a long-term programme of co-operation covering all the activities in the field of controlled thermonuclear fusion by magnetic confinement in the European Union and in the Swiss Confederation. Its aim is to provide a framework for implementing research, development and design work in preparation for the possible construction of an experimental fusion reactor.