Here comes the (little) sun!

I met them at the Tel Aviv port. It was about five years ago, and Oded and Doron shared with me their hydrogen fusion idea. It was the first time I’d met Doron, and Oded is my brother-in-law. They’re both in their fifties with impressive — yet very different — careers.

The process of fusing two hydrogen atoms and creating helium yields a tremendous amount of energy. This energy generation process takes place in our sun and is a main contributor to our life on earth. While Oded, and particularly Doron, start delving deeper into Maxwell’s partial differential equations and how electromagnetic fields control plasma, my mind wandered into a different kind of fusion. How could this analytical, Navy admiral of 30 years live peacefully and flourish with teenager-like exuberance alongside a full-throttle, “Back to the Future” (but bald) genius scientist who acrobatically transitions from our reality to another Matrix-like representation of the world?

It turns out, Hydrogen fusion is a tough nut to crack. In the past 80 years or so, the best minds, equipped with the largest national budgets, have thrown everything and the kitchen sink at the challenge and still have not managed to harness fusion into a successful energy generation project. As the great fusion master started to set into the Mediterranean, I realized the connective tissue between Doron and Oded, those two orthogonal characters, is their shared, deep passion for and belief in attempting to solve our world’s major energy and climate challenge.

They asked my advice and, after three hours of getting educated, my first thought was, “What ladder should I invent to allow this odd couple to safely climb down from the nest they had comfortably built up in the mighty fusion tree and get on with their lives?” Top plasma physicist expert opinion! Having spent some years in the academy, I estimated that there should not be any problem finding an expert physicist to quickly dismiss the theory’s viability and restore order to everyone’s lives. Achieving fusion on earth is a pretty tough task: we need the hydrogen atoms to collide at a very high pressure and temperature for long enough to let fusion run its course and consistently achieve more energy coming out of these collisions. This pressure and temperature are not of an earthly nature, so scientists have built stadium-size platforms and made monumental efforts that took decades and required huge government budgets, but still, there has been no success.

During the last decade or so, high-temperature superconductors, smart switches, and more have opened the door for smaller, private efforts to tackle fusion. Four years after our initial meeting at the Tel Aviv port, I visited Oded and Doron in their lab and yes, they were still in their fusion tree nest. But it turns out they were not alone. My advice to this odd couple had been to get down from the tree, but my words achieved exactly the opposite results: instead of convincing this odd couple to climb down from the tree, the plasma expert climbed up to join them. Others joined as well, including Professor Amnon Fisher, a leading Technion plasma physicist. Together, NT-Tao founders Oded, Doron, Boaz, and their team have made dramatic progress working on a shoestring budget. By the end of 2021, the company reached a significant functional milestone of unique super-fast heating mechanisms that has never been achieved by anyone before.

Fusion can bring infinite clean and safe energy, and there are several approaches attempting to tackle the energy generation fusion challenge. The unique fusion approach taken by Oded, Doron, and the NT-Tao team is based on the ability to quickly heat highly dense plasma (the clouds of hydrogen) to create critical collisions in a very short time, which avoids the difficulty of controlling the plasma for too long and advancing the cycle of energy toward generation. This authentic approach lends itself to significantly smaller and cheaper fusion systems. It means that NT-Tao can look at multiple, parallel design iterations in a short time to converge on the desired solution. It also means that once a solution is achieved, it will be delivered in a container size system, producing 20 MW/hr abundant clean energy — a device that may change life on the planet forever.

Late in 2021, the team demonstrated for the first time ever the fundamental capability to transfer tremendous amounts of energy quickly and effectively to the plasma. NT-Tao joined Fast Lane — Drive’s TLV top startup program, and, as expected, gained tremendous traction among Drive TLV’s partners and the market. Our partnership is hitting an important milestone in this latest round of funding. Our joint goal is not only to prove significant progress on project viability but to continue building the amazing group of strategic and financial partners to support this spectacular effort.

Once matured, this clean, modular power box can be deployed relatively quickly across the globe without being dependent on grid availability or mega infrastructure development cost. If successful, NT-Tao’s solution will deliver prosperity to many around the world and will particularly impact people in developing countries, while rapidly replacing the industrial and urban carbon-related energy dependency.

Clean, cost-effective energy will have a tremendous impact on our society. Democratization and localization of clean, cost-effective energy generation will allow humanity to reduce transportation, manufacturing, and most product costs — in other words, it will increase accessibility to goods, services, education, and knowledge. The cascading effect is theoretically unparalleled, potentially elevating most of the world’s population living in poverty. Access to this abundant energy will unlock more equality around the world, which will hopefully significantly ease geopolitical pressure and enable prosperity for communities across the globe. This technology has a real chance to help open up a new age of human history.

Does it sound too good to be true? Well, maybe — let me dream a bit. Without dreaming, we will never get there.

To Oded, Doron, Boaz and the fantastic NT-Tao team: Drive TLV and Next Gear Ventures are humbled and proud to have your back. We, together with our group of bold investors, and partners cherish the opportunity to give you a real chance to change the history of mankind.

Peace and impact


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Tal Cohen