May 092016


Published on May 9, 2016

While waiting for the response from Thomas Darden and Industrial Heat LLC to the lawsuit brought on by Andrea Rossi who claimed they engaged in fraudulent conduct, we thought it would be informative to put all of the public comments by Thomas Darden and Industrial Heat LLC about Cold Fusion – LENR – Andrea Rossi e-cat on one page so everything can come into focus with the correct perspective. So everything will be understood in context we have also added a few unrelated bits of information. This is not an exhaustive  timeline of the complete Rossi and Industrial Heat LLC marriage.

October 28, 2011 –
We witnessed the 1MW dog and pony show, with Rossi claiming some unknown person/company had purchased the plant. Later, after it was discovered the plant was still in his warehouse, Rossi then claimed he built many different 1MW plants and those were the ones sold and shipped to the un-named person/company. After the end of the demo, Rossi only claimed the 1MW device produced 0.5MW during the show, which was shocking because Rossi had been promising all year long that the plant was going to produce a full 1MW for the test, it was also shocking because a 0.5MW diesel generator connected to the plant was running all the time during the show. This is the same plant with a makeover that was shipped to Industrial Heat LLC in August, 2013 after they paid Rossi $11.5M.

Early 2012 –
According to Rossi’s (contents as given by Rossi, unverified) complaint filed in the court case Rossi et al v. Darden et al, Case #: 1:16-cv-21199, Rossi was approached by Thomas Darden and Industrial Heat LLC early in 2012 to begin negotiations for an e-cat license. Rossi claims they met with Rossi in Florida, in Bologna, in Italy and that J.T. Vaughn met with Rossi at the Zurich, investors’ meeting in September 2012.

September 8-9, 2012 –
A meeting was held for all of the investors in Rossi’s e-cat, along with the general public.
The meeting was sponsored by TransAltec Inc., E-Cat Germany and E-Cat Switzerland.
Two important things happened at this meeting –

  1. Rossi gave the results of the first Fabio Penon, M.Eng (Nuclear Engineering Specialist) report in a test of the “new” hot cat design, for the product certification process. Penon performed two tests, one in July for “validation” and one in August 2012 for SGS “electrical safety only” certification.
  2. The public received a report on stage by a new partner/employee of Rossi, Fulvio Fabiani. It was clear from the complexity of Fabiani’s presentation that he had been involved in the project for some time.

Before this meeting both Penon and Fabiani were hired and/or employed by Andrea Rossi, Industrial Heat LLC did not sign their contract with Rossi until much later – on October 26, 2012.

Penon DID NOT perform the 24 HR validation test per the Rossi/IH license agreement until May 1, 2013. (From the Rossi et al v. Darden et al, court case complaint.)

According to Rossi’s (Rossi et al v. Darden et al), court complaint, J.T. Vaughn met with Rossi in Zurich, during this investors’ meeting.

Magnus Holm, CEO Hydrofusion, based in Great Britain and Sweden, was going to give a talk but pulled out at the last minute, he was angry because a test to verify the e-cat had failed. Magnus Holm, who was an e-cat licensee had some marks investors lined up, but they wanted to have a true 3rd party do the testing. The result of that test showed the e-cat did NOT work as claimed.

Hydro Fusion witnessed a new independent test of the high temperature ECAT prototype reactor on September 6th in Bologna. Although no full report has yet been received, early indications are that the results of the July 16th/August 7th reports could not be reproduced.

Hydro Fusion cannot at this stage support any claims made, written or other, about the amount of excess heat generated by the new high temperature ECAT prototype.

Swedish science magazine NyTeknik reported that the test was overseen by Swedish National Testing and Research Institute who did not find the Hot Cat was outputting more energy than was input. As a result, a planned investment of 65 million Kronor (£6.1 million) was withdrawn. The investors are now considering whether this affects all E-Cats or just the new Hot Cat.

Swedish investment in the E-cat halted after tests
When investors measuring 6 September in Bologna, however, could no heat energy is found in addition to the input electrical power.
The investor group had instructed the SP Technical Research Institute , to monitor the measurement, and the researchers who attended measured an input electrical power that was two to three times higher than Rossi himself measured (the measurement used the SP so-called True RMS instruments).
Google translated.

October 24, 2012 –
Industrial Heat LLC  was created.

111 East Hargett Street
Suite 300
Raleigh, NC 27601
United States
Phone: 919-743-5727
Mr. Thomas Francis Darden II, J.D.
Manager, President, and Director
Mr. J.T. Vaughn
Vice President

October 26, 2012 –
Tom Darden, J.T. Vaughn and Industrial Heat LLC signed license agreement with Andrea Rossi.
From the court filings by Andrea Rossi – Rossi et al v. Darden et al, Case #: 1:16-cv-21199.

August 23, 2013 –
Industrial Heat, LLC filed, FORM D – Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities
According to the filing, 14 investors had put money into the new company, in the amount of $11,555,050.

Which is interesting because $11,500,000 is the amount given to Rossi by Industrial Heat LLC, leaving only $55,050 to pay company board members, company officers, any employees or for any other expenses such as legal expenses, travel expenses, paying for testing, investing in other people or companies, etc. Tom Darden claims Rossi was not the first person/company working in cold fusion/LENR that Industrial Heat LLC invested with.

Aug 23, 2013, 4:42pm EDT –
No comments, just a nod to the SEC filing.
Industrial Heat’s $11.6M haul takes Cherokee slant

Jan 7, 2014, 8:50am EST –
Is Raleigh’s Cherokee trying to cut an energy deal in China?

Cherokee CEO Tom Darden says that due to “strict confidentiality requirements,” he can’t address any of the specific technologies that Industrial Heat is supporting.

“But the company has investigated or supported several,” he says. “I am sure it will be a while before there are any results.”

Darden […] “Nor does Industrial Heat have any Chinese investors,” he says.

When Industrial Heat reported to the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission in August that it had raised $11.6 million of a proposed $20 million round of financing, it noted that 14 investors had provided funding so far. Darden and Cherokee senior analyst J.T. Vaughn were listed as managers of the fund.

Darden says that on a recent trip to China, Industrial Heat was one of the topics he discussed with Chinese officials, “but my main focus was to encourage them to bring new environmental technologies to China from some of the Challenge companies.”

Jan 10, 2014, 6:00am EST –
Is Cherokee plugging into China’s energy market?
Just a copy of the prior article.

Jan. 24, 2014 –
Industrial Heat LLC publishes a public relations notice seeking investors and partners in their company. The notice has been removed from the PRNewswire website but you can still read it here.
Industrial Heat Has Acquired Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat Technology

PR Newswire
RESEARCH TRIANGLE, N.C., Jan. 24, 2014
-Company focused on making the technology widely available-
RESEARCH TRIANGLE, N.C., Jan. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Industrial Heat, LLC announced today that it has acquired the rights to Andrea Rossi’s Italian low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) technology, the Energy Catalyzer (E-Cat).  A primary goal of the company is to make the technology widely available, because of its potential impact on air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels and biomass.

“The world needs a new, clean and efficient energy source. Such a technology would raise the standard of living in developing countries and reduce the environmental impact of producing energy,” said JT Vaughn speaking on behalf of Industrial Heat (IH).

Mr. Vaughn confirmed IH acquired the intellectual property and licensing rights to Rossi’s LENR device after an independent committee of European scientists conducted two multi-day tests at Rossi’s facilities in Italy.

The published report by the European committee concluded, “Even by the most conservative assumptions as to the errors in the measurements, the result is still one order of magnitude greater than conventional energy sources” [referring to energy output per unit of mass]. The report is available online at In addition, performance validation tests were conducted in the presence of IH personnel and certified by an independent expert.

Since acquiring Rossi’s technology, IH has engaged in a broad-based effort to protect it by preparing numerous patent applications related to the core technology as well as associated designs and uses.

Tom Darden, who co-founded Cherokee Investment Partners, a series of private equity funds specializing in cleaning up pollution, is a founding investor in Industrial Heat. He is one of a small group of like-minded investors who are supporting this technology because it could significantly address a number of social and environmental challenges. They have committed to make it broadly available because of its potential for impact.  IH is considering partnerships with industry participants, universities and NGO’s to ensure the technology is developed in a thoughtful and responsible manner.

JT Vaughn manages Industrial Heat. He is the founder of Cherokee McDonough Challenge, an accelerator for environmental startups, and a leader in the startup community in the Research Triangle.

Companies or organizations interested in partnering with Industrial Heat should reach out to JT Vaughn at

CONTACT: JT Vaughn,, 919-649-5299
SOURCE Industrial Heat, LLC

Jan 24, 2014, 5:38pm EST –
Confirmed: Raleigh’s Cherokee buys into controversial nuclear tech device

Vaughn stated in the news release that the investors in Industrial Heat, including Cherokee Investment Partners co-founder Tom Darden, are most interested in making Rossi’s technology more broadly available to universities, industry partnerships and non-governmental organizations “to ensure the technology is developed in a thoughtful and responsible manner.”

Darden confirmed in an interview with Triangle Business Journal in early January that Industrial Heat was one of the topics he discussed with Chinese officials on a recent trip to China.

“The world needs a new, clean and efficient energy source. Such a technology would raise the standard of living in developing countries and reduce the environmental impact of producing energy,” Vaughn stated.

Oct 10, 2014, 9:46am EDT Updated Oct 10, 2014, 12:44pm EDT –
Raleigh investor Darden still bullish on controversial nuclear technology

His partner in the venture, Cherokee’s J.T. Vaughn, said at the time that it was about creating a new, cleaner energy source, a technology to “raise the standard of living in developing countries.”

Industrial Heat raised $11.6 million last year, and has been quiet about what’s happening with Rossi’s new energy catalyzer.

Until now.

Darden lets us in on the two words that sold him on the technology: “Air pollution.”

Why he invested:

“I’m serious — it’s about air pollution and coal,” Darden says. “Our company is called Industrial Heat. Our job is to make industrial heat and industrial heat is made by coal… We don’t think any energy should be made by coal, so that’s why I’m doing this. This could be a way to eliminate the use of coal.”

While he acknowledges that no technology takes off without the numbers to attract financial investment – he says he’s not in it for the money. He’s in it for the potential the technology has to solve the air pollution conundrum.

“This might be the answer,” he says, pointing to solar plus battery storage as another technology he’s watching heavily.

What it is:

Rossi’s technology, dubbed E-Cat, is a black box that, according to reports, uses cold fusion to generate large amounts of green energy cheaply.

And, according to a new 54-page report leaked on the Internet, the technology has been verified by third-party researchers. Those researchers collected data over a 32-day time span in March, producing 1.5 MWh of energy.

“This amount of energy is far more than can be obtained from any known chemical sources in the small reactor volume,” the report reads.

Darden calls the new data “promising.”

“So we’ll continue to work on it,” he says.

Darden says his group was not involved with the test cited in the report.

“We built the reactor, but we shipped it over to Switzerland,” he says.

The road ahead:

The E-Cat is not being developed without controversy. A previous third-party analysis of the device, published in 2013, was attacked by critics.

Rossi, an Italian inventor and a convicted fraudster (convicted of tax fraud), has, himself, been the subject of global scrutiny.

But Darden isn’t concentrating on the buzz or the skeptics. He’s concentrating on the mission, he says.

“I don’t care who gets there first, how it happens,” he says. “I just want to see it happen.”

And he’s had several high level conversations about the technology, such as one with Chinese officials on a recent trip to China.

December 11-12, 2014 –
J.T. Vaughn tells the NCBRC that Rossi is “not credible.”

We have obtained a report from the North Carolina Radioactive Materials Branch Health Physicist, Radiation Protection Section – Division of Health Service Regulation, in which investigators discuss  a recent interview they conducted with John T. Vaughn, a principal of Industrial Heat, LLC.

Investigative Findings: December 11, 2014, Louis Brayboy and I met with Mr. JT Vaughn at 11:00 A.M. from Industrial Heat, LLC. 111 East Hargett Street Suite 300 Raleigh, NC 27601, on an unannounced inspection and asked him about the E-CAT conceptual model, if radiological materials were on hand, if Mr. Andrea Rossi was available or would be able at a later date. He stated that the E-CAT was being manufactured in Florida and that Mr. Rossi did not appear credible  and that there was a building that he had planned to work at for Research and Development located at 6025 Triangle Drive, Raleigh, NC. He would ask Mr. Fogelman to meet us there the following day. Our survey meters were on during our discussion and at the entrance to the small facility with no survey readings from the two Ludlum Model 19 MicroR meters and an IdentiFinder.

December 12, 2014, Louis Brayboy and I met with Jim Fogelman in the early afternoon and he introduced himself as the accountant of the company at 6025 Triangle Drive, Raleigh. The building did not have the name of the company posted anywhere. Both Louis Brayboy and I surveyed the entire building using two Ludlum Model 19 MicroR meters, one Ludlum 14C with pancake probe and an IdentiFinder. Readings were at background of 15-20 microR/hr throughout the empty warehouse with no survey reading results from surfaces, trash receptacles and sink and bathroom surfaces using the pancake probe. There was no indication of a workbench that may have been used. We asked Mr. Fogehnan a series of questions concerning his knowledge of Mr. Rossi or/and work and he stated that he was unaware of Mr. Rossi or the use of the building. Louis and I were required to sign proprietary statements even though there was no propriety items noted.

April 13, 2015 – Published in MAY/JUNE 2015 –
Marianne Macy published an interview with Ton Darden in • ISSUE 121 • INFINITE ENERGY
Moving the Needle: An Interview with Industrial Heat’s Tom Darden

Marianne Macy: It’s April 13, 2015 in Padua with Tom Darden. First of all, congratulations on that speech. It meant a lot to a lot of people.

Tom Darden: I appreciate that! I asked for some guidance from people on what subjects would be of interest and got none! I thought about what had meaning to me. It is not my place to talk to this group about the importance of what they’re working on, scientists who are veterans of the field, because I’m a comparative newcomer. But I’ve always had very emotional feelings about how close-minded some in the scientific community can be. Why can’t people be nice to someone who has a strange idea and say, “Ok, that’s a different idea but good luck” or “we wish you the best”?

Macy: It seemed as if what you enunciated was what you felt.

Darden: Yes! It is. I don’t know the wars a lot of these people have been through. I only know them from 1,000 miles visibility and can imagine, but I don’t have license to speak about it. The other thing I wanted to convey was this distinction…but, there is pollution and then there is energy.

Those are different things. It seems most people thinking about LENR are thinking about energy availability. I’m thinking about pollution. It seems to me you are coming from a different perspective if your focus is pollution. We have plenty of energy in America, that’s not a problem. I think pretty soon they’ll have plenty of energy in China, because they’ve learned how to release gas from shale. So energy is plentiful and cheap where rich people live. Maybe not where poor people live, so poor people need more or cheaper energy, but rich people really don’t. I also don’t see a lot of economic activity constrained by lack of available energy or by energy costing too much. The whole energy crisis mentality, that the energy is going to run out, isn’t my focus


Macy: So I take your depressing point that the environment is not a successful sales pitch. What was it that motivated you when you got those three phone calls you mentioned in your talk about LENR?

Darden: For me, it was more intrinsic. I look at things at more of a substantive, technical level, like, “Does that make good logical sense?” Constrained by really one thought, and I’m generalizing, but I don’t like to be involved with things where if you were successful with it, it wouldn’t move the needle. A lot of things fall into that category. In life, or business, or dealing with the environment. My goal is to work on things that at least if you were successful, they matter.

And so I kind of view things through a lens of does it matter, and is it feasible? I’m willing to take a lot of risk if something seems feasible, from a cost or feasibility standpoint. If something might be getting in the way from a cost or inconvenience standpoint, whatever the constraint is upon adoption, you say, “Ok, it’s at least conceivable.” Take an electric car. You’d say, “How many miles does it have to travel to be conceivable? 180? Ok. That’s conceivable. 40? You’re not going to get serious uptake with that. 80? 130? 300?”

Macy: To get into this area of LENR, did you and your people do a lot of background? What were the deciding factors?

Darden: We say this is enormously important at an environmental, technical level. There is an enormous market. Therefore, if you were right, it would not have been futile. We said, there is sufficient evidence that something is going on in this space. It took much more than the coincidence of three phone calls, or a call once, then again in thirty days, and thirty days…although that kind of slapped me in the face. I talked to some really smart people who are involved in it. I was thinking, “You’ve got to be kidding!” and I came away and said, “There’s enough reality there that I’m willing to take a technical risk.” So the last risk that I spend very little time thinking about is almost a pricing risk. I guess there is a possibility if you were in the hot fusion business that this would be a very painful question. There is a possibility that it would work. The market is enormous and it’s technically and environmentally a positive thing but it just costs so much that there’s no way there is going to be adoption. I don’t see that as being super likely, although that is a risk we are taking. We’ve estimated roughly the costs of construction.

I guess it is at least possible you go through the math and come out with, it works, it doesn’t hurt the environment, but the electricity and heat coming out of it is going to cost three times as much. And that’s too much. I’d say, “Darn. That’s very upsetting.” [He laughs heartily.] I’m optimistic around that.

Macy: So in a way, the deciding factor to get involved was how LENR works. It’s affordable.

Darden: The good thing is there has been so little in the way of resources in LENR that people have figured out how to do things very cheaply. If people are able to build successful, replicable, multiple devices that can operate for awhile, and don’t appear to cost much, that was enough in my mind.

They weren’t made of Unobtanium, or some hyper expensive material that was impossible to deal with.

Macy: Since you got involved I would imagine you speak to a lot of other financial groups and people. Have those communities asked you a lot of questions about this? Are investors and market people coming after you to see why you are doing this?

[Tom Darden’s laughter is now taking on the characteristics of Kingsley Amis’ character in the novel Lucky Jim, whose Capitalized Face Descriptions illustrated major character orientations. Darden’s laughter rings true and seem to viscerally express his experiences and reactions. This laugh would be his It’s Not The Way You Think Laugh.]

Darden: We have always, in almost everything we’ve been involved with in more than 100 or more deals, embraced a timeframe that is not consistent with the typical way of doings with venture deals. There used to be historical venture capital and some of those people had really long time horizons, like a decade or so. I am telling you, if you get into the tech world…that stuff is fast. It’s really, really inexpensive to build. I’m totally sympathetic. They have investors.

They have to manage expectations. They have to respond to the expectation of investors. If you’re going to invest a very small amount of money, not much capital, not many people, you create. If you can invest a small amount of capital, look at it and say, “I’m not sure if it’s going to move the needle.

But it’s worth $40 billion to somebody so that’s what they have to do.” You go to them about LENR and say, “All right, we’re not really sure about the picture of the market. And we don’t know what it’s going to cost. And it’s going to take a really long time. Come on in, the water’s fine.” This takes a different mentality.

Macy: I thought I heard you say something when you spoke this morning about “It’s ok, we don’t have that same pressure.” How do you work differently financially than other VC firms? How do you have more freedom?

Darden: We just deal with people with different expectations and motivations. Historically, we lead with our chins. That is to say, we spend a lot of our own money. And so, that’s comforting. I like to be at the bottom of the stack. In other words, I want people to be safer and do better than I did. I’d rather be the first one to lose money, not the last one to lose money.

Macy: So…Your money is in this?

Darden: Oh, yeah. I’ve been the primary funder. I think there probably are a lot of people out there like me. Clearly there are. You read in the newspaper about Bill Gates, people with massive wealth and the Giving Pledge. Look at what they are doing with their resources. Some of that is in a business context. Lots of it isn’t in a business context. It’s philanthropy. Lots of it’s not in institutional capital. It’s not a large percentage of all the money out there but I think there are a lot of human beings who actually are patient and who would see the magnitude of this market. They’d worry less about the timeframe because they’d see how important this is in other dimensions. They would say, there probably is a way that capital would be rewarded ultimately. I think there are a lot of people who fall into that category. They’re harder to find.

There’s an added issue here as well. It’s probably getting to be less of an issue. I think a lot of people have worried historically about this field. It was my reaction when I got the first phone calls. “No, I read the articles. That didn’t work.” Didn’t work. On. Off. Switch. Answered question. That is definitely an issue of people who can’t get past the first call. If I didn’t get the second, and maybe the third call, that would have been me.

Macy: People think to put down real money with someone like Rossi that you must have seen something convincing. If one did a lot of background on his previous work and life it is clear he’s been through enough in the past to know what he wanted from an investor. In order to hand over the kind of money he wanted, you must have seen something compelling. Did you?

Darden: Yes. We saw stuff that was compelling.

Macy: Can you talk about any particulars of the things that made up your mind?

Darden: We’ve seen a number of tests and we’ve had a lot of people looking at tests. Of course outsiders have looked at tests. I think particularly the transmutation data is very compelling.

I felt very good about that, better than any outlet of test data I’d seen. We’re not interested in or insistent upon perfection from a scientist. What I mean by that is, stuff might work, stuff might not work. I don’t find failure to be very depressing. As I said in my talk, I’m a pilot, and if you see any airplane fly, then you know airplanes fly. If the next time an airplane takes off it crashes, you wouldn’t say, “Airplanes don’t fly.” You might say, “That airplane no longer flies” or “Often airplanes don’t fly.” But you would say, “Airplanes fly. We have some engineering, management, technology issues to wrestle with in building our next airplane.

Let’s try to figure out how to do a better job of it.” I’m sympathetic to scientists having to deal with those issues. I think, how hard is this stuff and what should our expectations be? I have the impression people have the idea that they are supposed to go up to a scientist and say, “Show me something something that looks as good as an iphone and every time I push the button everything goes swimmingly,” and some poor scientist has to deal with that attitude. I don’t find failure particularly depressing. I find success to be highly motivational, or evidence of success ever to be highly motivational. We’ve seen some really good stuff. We want to support Andrea in his research however we best can. Which is to say, it won’t be through the venue of nuclear physics. I can’t add a lot to that conversation. If there are things we can fund or things we can do to help him, and we want to help him because we want him to continue to progress and evolve. He is very rapid at iterating. He is constantly coming up with new things, “Try this. Try this.” I think that’s a good thing.

I like that attribute. I think it’s society’s problem to say to someone like that, “Ok, stop. Just work on this. Make a hundred things like this and let’s finalize something.” Well, it shouldn’t be like that. He should be able to do what he needs to do.

Macy: Have you managed to work with Andrea that way? I heard he is set up with a laboratory, that you’ve got other people doing the building and welding and it is leaving him free to be more of a director of the pursuit of his ideas.

Darden: I feel good about that. I feel good about the work we were able to do to help him through the mundane work. We’ve been able to provide support to him of that nature. Not smart people resources or activity but just getting stuff done. I hope to continue doing that. In a kind of Utopian ideal you’d start to see more people working together and sharing ideas. To the extent we can make that happen, that is our goal.

Macy: You said in your speech that Rossi is not the first person involved with LENR that you have supported. That’s a widespread misconception. You are also supporting good longtime researchers in this field like MIT’s Peter Hagelstein, Dennis Letts, high profile newcomers like Brillouin among others. You’ve said IH wants to support more work in this field. Is one of your goals to get these people to collaborate? Would you approach the people you are supporting or may support and say, “We will support efforts at collaboration”?

Darden: I would love that. It’s easy for me to say. These are not my children; they’re other people’s children we are talking about but…sure. If there is anything I can do to encourage that, I want to, but I also want to be respectful of people’s emotions and people’s fears and hopes and dreams. We will never say…well, famous last words. I hope we never say to scientists that they have to take us as we are. We always need to say to scientists that we will take them as they are, within reason. […]

Macy: Would you go through your scientists who you are funding or others and propose collaborations at some point if one of them or someone comes to you with a project that might fit their expertise?

Darden: Sure. We would say to someone, “What do you want to work on?” If it conceivably fits with them, would we ask them to consider doing something like that? Of course. But as a background issue, do you think there is going to be one answer to this question?

Macy: No.

Darden: There are going to be so many answers to this question. There is a whole field of physics and material science out there. There’s a big thing out there and I think there will be so many components of it and ways of accomplishing something. Granted, at some point Steve Jobs needed to say, “That’s what the new iphone is going to look like.” So somebody, and it won’t be me, is going to need to say, “Ok, we’ll standardize around this a little bit.” But don’t you think there will be tens of thousands of different forms of that? I like being supportive of people who are doing fairly divergent forms of things. And my only hope would be that we could introduce people to one another if they don’t know each other and try to figure out some circumstances under which they feel they win if the other person wins.

One thing that would break my heart would be if somebody were defined as “losing” in this realm? There are all these people working on all these great things. I think there is enormous value to that. It would be great if all those people could find some way to benefit from the success of whoever is going to succeed with this. I haven’t figured that out. I see some half-ways to that. If people are frightened of losing then they might feel more liberated if they felt they wouldn’t lose, so what can we do to be sure people won’t lose? That would be a goal of mine. Maybe that will be a bridge to helping people come together. I don’t know how much is personal heart stuff and how much is career, which is easy for me to understand.

Macy: Would you be interested in an association or the kind of planning to help inventors and scientists figure out business directions to take their work?

Darden: I’m trying to figure it out. We are trying to figure out the association of scientists and inventors. How do we associate with these people? My intention is to go to people and say, “What is your intention and how can we be useful in the implementation of your objectives?” Not to say, “Here’s a program.” Their job is to be a scientist. I think to have people who care about these issues to think, what would that look like? How would that be structured? Almost like governance questions. We create an allocation pool; let’s say we’d be fortunate enough to generate some revenue or proceeds to be doing something, what do we do with that?

How does it work and how do people benefit from that? I’m not suggesting that everyone’s motivation is to make a lot of money or that a lot of these technologies are worth a lot of money; that’s a whole separate issue. But how can we say to people…Everyone feels they have to go create a company. Or a nonprofit. “I’m going to start a nonprofit and address poverty or world hunger.” There actually are a lot of people working on that already and for you to say you’re going to create your own little outlet may not be the smartest thing!

Some of the scientists and entrepreneurs are saying, “We’ve formed an LLC and we’re going to do this and that.” We’ve been down this road a lot of times. There are a lot of costs involved in doing that and you see people making mistakes. To the extent we say to them, “Let’s be friendly and collaborative and figure out a relationship that works so you don’t have to do that. We’ll be the back office and we’re not greedy relative to that.” It’s a serious question. I’ve been pounding on people today saying, “Let’s define that. How does it work?” I don’t know how it works but we’re not going to go away and define that by ourselves. That would be helpful.

Macy: There are people you are supporting in this field, most of whom have remained very quiet. The Rossi support became high profile, the others not so, at least for now.

Darden: We made investments before Rossi.

Macy: In LENR people.

Darden: Yes. I just thought there was a lot of frenetic responses to us backing Rossi. We tend not to announce anything, we try to be low key. I’m sure that you could count on less than one hand the number of press releases that have been issued about anything to do with Cherokee or anything associated with us. I can’t think of one! So we would never say, “Ok, let’s just inform the world,” as if the world cared. I just can’t imagine doing that. We also wanted to build a few relationships and see how that was working.

Macy: You mean with the people you are supporting?

Darden: Yes.

Macy: You have it out there that Cherokee Partners and Industrial Heat are putting money into this person and this person. And that’s great. But. It changes things. Another thing in coming here to Padua we find that Russia is definitely rebooting its program. India is going to. China. Japan. I want to know if you’ve had involvement with that.

Darden: Not Russia and India. I go to China often. I started going there for other reasons and to this day, most of the reasons I go there are other reasons. But the people I know there are aware of what I am working on and they are very curious. They know the significance of it. You talk about pollution anxiety and you should think about China! I don’t know how much time you’ve spent there. People think, “Obviously the Chinese don’t care about pollution because they’ve got so much of it.” No, that’s not the case. Americans don’t care about pollution because they have so little of it. […]

Macy: Do you think that the fact you have formed a fund with a multimillion dollar investment in LENR work has had some influence on countries expanding international programs?

Darden: I think they know what it could represent. I think these other countries know the importance of it from an environmental standpoint; no question about that. I think that interest is white hot. I sensed that there were a lot of spontaneous cool things happening at the same time; this was the three different phone calls.

Macy: May I ask if these inquiries were from countries or individuals?

Darden: One was Star. In Australia. One was a wonderful guy, there really was a fourth…the other was a guy who was involved with them, a former White House Fellow, who wanted to create an institute to plan for LENR at an implementation level. I have a degree in urban planning, so I’d say it was almost like an urban planner’s perspective on LENR.

Like, ok, we have a new technology so how will that work. What will be the implications of that? How is the grid going to interact with this new technology? I thought it was really cool but what was so striking was that it might be relevant to be spending time thinking about this at all! What did that imply? I mean, this is a really smart guy. I said, “What if you are planning for a party that no one comes to? Why are you wasting your time?” He spent a lot of time smacking me around and getting me up to speed on what was going on.

Macy: Even though you’ve distinguished that IH is different from many VC funds, I wanted to ask more about your financial thinking. I wanted to ask a bit more on why people should spend money supporting LENR and why you are.

Darden: I think there are people who will pay money for pollution reduction, it’s just they’re not in the United States of America. I think there is passivity in the U.S. about pollution. I think Americans care about global warming. I think they care about pollution load in the atmosphere. Even for the Americans who don’t believe CO2 is affecting global warming, if you said to them, “Do you think putting stack emissions into the air is a bad thing or if we didn’t have to do it, would you flip a coin and pick the side of not doing it on this precautionary principal,” I’ll bet that number would go from 50% to 90% of them saying, “Sure, if it doesn’t cost a lot of money.” […]

Macy: It occurred to me in terms of thinking about longer term work in this area, right now you are supporting researchers and inventors. I wondered beyond that, how far along in your thinking are you? Are you thinking what is the next stage?

Darden: No. I spend time planning at a visualization level, a far out way to think of things. I think about what’s right in front of my face. I don’t think of what’s in the interim time. In terms of the innovation side, which is important, I can see that. I think as it gets more tangible and immediate those kind of conversations need to come up, asking, “so what does this really mean?”

What would be the efficiency or inefficiency of converting LENR energy into electricity at a small scale? We need to know more about that before we can answer the question of how distributed would you want something like this to be as opposed to how central? I can see why a more central kind of solution would be more likely because the smaller it is, the worse the efficiency of conversion is going to be. So is this something that is going to be implemented through a widely distributed system or is this going to be implemented through a centralized system? If I had to bet, I’d say more centralized. And there are other benefits to that too, like regulation, keeping control over things like safety, which still needs to be better understood. So more centralized is probably more likely until way out in the future when things start to get really small maybe. We might find the implementation is relatively simple and benign. The utility companies don’t care about buying coal. They’re buying natural gas. [He snaps his fingers.] How long did that take? Very quickly in the scheme of things.

Macy: So you are saying you’re putting money into researchers and inventors. If it works, you would see a really fast conversion of energy companies and utilities just switching over.

Darden: Yes…Ford designs a new car and it’s three years before the car comes out. It’s just a little different. I think things take a long time, really, but what if it’s in ten years we were making lots of electricity in big power plants from LENR? I think we’d all be ok.

Macy: How do you feel about the issue of going public, where we have someone putting his own money, and a lot of it, into something that supposedly had been discounted. That’s a news story. If you suddenly started getting pickup from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal calling, major outlets, would you want that? Do you want to come forward at this time?

Darden: [Shakes his head with great irony.] No! I don’t ever want to see that. The idea of just having to work on things in a fishbowl; I don’t see it. People who do that sort of thing either want to do that because they are trying to sell their product, so you can see why consumer facing companies want to do that. Or they’re going public. Or they’re raising money so they need a presence in the public markets. Or they want it, ego or whatever. That’s the way they are. None of those apply. I don’t want it and we don’t want to raise investor interest or look as if we’re trolling and have something to sell.

Macy: How would you feel if you got to be a role model with people saying, “Look at this person who is putting his own money into developing a new non-polluting energy technology? He’s the leader of a new movement.”

Darden: Let’s be successful first. Seriously. I think there is great value for younger people who are in all kinds of crossroads as their lives unfold to see windows into what can be done. I really think that’s valuable, by the way. In my life it’s almost been one to one, hearing about someone and going to talk to them. But young people, and I’d put myself in this category, when I was starting out, your vision and visibility into how people lead their lives and think about things is so limited. There were a few instances where I spent time with people where it was so revealing to me to hear how they lived their lives or saw their impact. I actually see great benefit to that. Bill Gates would be an extreme on that, maybe Gates and Warren Buffet walking around talking to rich people saying, “Would you consider doing this with your money?” Their giving pledge. How many people have they got to do it? It’s a lot of people. I don’t think they would have done it if it hadn’t been for them. I really don’t think they would have. I think there’s enormous value to that kind of thing.

Macy: So if you get a bunch of phone calls coming off this…

Darden: I’m not talking to them.

Macy: After your speech, some people loved it, others expressed concerns on their minds. These are not my opinions. I’m asking about things people were saying, such as, “Oh, he’s just going to make a technology. He doesn’t care about science.” This could be from the perspective of people who are focused on particular areas. Or, “He says he’s not VC and hasn’t the same time frame. That’s bad! Does that mean he’ll let them try everything until he or the inventor dies?” Or “Is he going to make a device?” How do you address these concerns?

Darden: A valid criticism is around the whole question of urgency. The question of urgency in settings like this is interesting. I know people feel urgent. I know I can be at the patient extreme. You don’t want to have patience cause you to move slowly as opposed to having patience to pursue something longer. One form of patience is not good. The other form of patience I would argue is good. I’d accept criticism around any of those things or I’d spend too much time trying to get things set or get things ready. I’ve seen so many incidents of people doing that, not being thoughtful about structures or organizations. Maybe I’m legal administrative in orientation but someone has to think of legal and administrative things because so many people just are dead before they start because they didn’t get that stuff right. So I do spend a lot of time getting that done and tolerate that those things take a lot of time, whereas so many people say, “Don’t worry about it! Just go.” In terms of what to do, I understand the distinction between science and engineering. I have a bias because I can only think about things where I can see. That is where I struggle with a lot of this because I can’t conceive of things I can’t physically see. Things that are tangible come down to building something. To the extent someone has something that can be used as a hopeful visual depiction or demonstration of something that gets people who are not oriented in that direction can say, “I see that.” I think that translation is really hard for people. So the more we can do that, it’s a good thing to do. We’ve done that, really building things for Andrea Rossi, for example, really helping with the physical building side of things. I think it’s great and it’s been important what he’s done in that dimension, because people can really see things, physical structures, sizes and shapes. People want to work on things that are really different, so let’s get into building those things and we can really look at. Get it into a setting where people who aren’t involved can see them, get into the idea and go away and say, “How can we use that?” What relevance does it have to their particular endeavor. Meanwhile, I just love the scientists on an emotional level. I can’t be them or do that but I love them on an emotional level and they need support. I don’t know how else that translates on a more tangible level but I think it probably does. I think finding ways to support that is a good thing.

Macy: So you are not just supporting investors who are making something. You might also support a program or related area of inquiry.

Darden: We can do that. And more. Back to the idea I had about how this pool would work, I can see how you could have an allocation that in turn is used to fund that. Someone puts in something that has to have some value associated with it. Maybe there is an allocation that is just associated with theoretical stuff. When Walmart has an allocation for philanthropy, maybe that is almost in the same category as philanthropy. We are going to take 10% of our profits and just give it away or something. These thoughts aren’t fully materialized, but I’m thinking of this.

— — — — — — — — — —
After our interview Tom Darden returned to the conference floor to meet with more of the scientists at ICCF19 in
Padua. There was much going on here, and he had a lot of people to talk to.

Apr 14, 2015 –
Tom Darden gives speech at ICCF19.

What an honor it is to be here today to address those of you who have done so much to change the way we address our energy needs and our environmental needs, and to change science. As … mentioned, I’m the founder of Cherokee, and I’ve been asked to tell you who we are and why we created Industrial Heat as a funding source for LENR inventors. Unlike many of you, I’m not a scientist, I’m an entrepreneur, but we share the common bond of innovation. As Peter Drucker wrote, “Entrepreneurship sees the major task in society as doing something different, rather than doing something better than what is already being done.” Doing better than what is already being done is like making a coal power plant a little bit more efficient — you are working to make them unnecessary. Thank God there are some, like many of you, who have the courage to disrupt. In 1921, experts determined that the limits of flight had been reached already. In 1932 it was determined that nuclear fission was unlikely ever to be feasible. And in the 1950’s, when I was born, it was widely believed that pollution was a necessary part of economic development. Paradigm shifts do not come easily, especially in science. As Thomas Kuhn wrote in The Nature of Scientific Revolutions, usually they are born out of the crises of our time. If you are on the leading edge of a paradigm shift, you will be attacked by your peers, and you will be attacked by the institutions of the status quo. We feel called to upset two core business paradigms. First, the traditional ethos of environmentalism is that we should strive to be ‘less bad.’ But as America’s leading environmental philosopher William McDonough points out in his book Cradle to Cradle, being ‘less bad’ is not being good, it’s still bad, just a little bit less so. If you are driving your car toward a cliff, it doesn’t help you to slow down — you need to turn around and go in a different direction.

We need solutions that don’t create pollution in the first place, not marginal solutions that only reduce pollution. Second, let’s challenge the assumption of scarcity. We actually live in a world of abundance, at least with respect to energy. Sadly, due to society’s ineffectiveness to date, the world struggles with energy scarcity, at least in some regions. Why do we burn petroleum or coal, which unlocks only a tiny fraction of the true energy inside? When we do this we release almost all the mass of coal into the air as stack emissions. Then we scatter this mass around the planet. Carbon and heavy metals can be highly beneficial — they’re not necessarily pollutants — but they are if they’re in the wrong place. C02 in the air is a pollutant, carbon in a tree is not. Heavy metals can be highly beneficial unless they’re in the wrong place like on farmlands in China, or in our oceans.

We need an entirely new paradigm. This hopeful vision was the genesis of our work at Industrial Heat. When I entered school, the United States was in the midst of an environmental crisis. Most people have forgotten about this, or perhaps never even knew of it, but when I was young, periodically industrial rivers in our cities would burst into flame due to the pollution in them, and sometimes in some of our worst polluted cities, people drove with their headlights on during the day. Our air pollution was as bad as air pollution in China in some cities. This was America when I was beginning to think about my place in the world. I was worried when I saw that photo, the first photo of our living planet from space. Many of you will remember that — we had never seen the earth, which is ironic because we live on it. We could see that it was a living planet. I felt compelled to do something about this. Later at university I wrote my master’s thesis on acid rain, air pollution from coal plants. My first job was at the Korean Institute of Science and Technology in Seoul, where I worked on pollution, converting coal which was used for home heating and for cooking. I saw pollution throughout East Asia. I returned, and went to Yale, to become an environmental lawyer, but in the US, practicing law, some people think it’s somewhat boring, and I fell in that category, and thankfully I got a job working at Bain and Co. in steel plants, on energy efficiency. In 1984 I converted brick plants from burning fossil fuels into burning biogas which was being dumped into landfills where it turned into methane gas.

We became mostly carbon neutral, except for our electricity use, and I obsessed on finding ways that we could make carbon free electricity. I was never successful. In 1985, I discovered soil pollution at one of our brick plant sites, from decades of petroleum use. I found some professors at Virginia Tech University, Virginia College Technical  University, which is not far away, professors who dealt with soil bacteria, so we began to grow bacteria which would consume pollution in the ground. I funded their business via systems technology and we created Cherokee Environmental to clean up contaminated soil all over the east coast and over the years we’ve cleaned up 15 million tons of dirt. That would be enough, that if you stacked it all up on a golf course, it would raise the level of that golf course by about 400 feet or 130 meters. We began to buy contaminated property to clean up. We raised over $2 billion for this, for buying and remediating pollution on land. We’ve owned 550 properties in the US, Canada and Europe, including a refinery site not too far from here (Trieste).

Some people think Cherokee is a real estate company because it owns a lot of property, it does own a lot of property, but our property work is driven by our pollution focus. I saw that we could affect pollution by working with smart scientists at Virginia Tech. We don’t have, we don’t internally have the capacity for scientific innovation, we’re business people, not scientists, but we realized we could find scientists who had ideas, and so we branched out. We kept doing this with other professors at other universities. Between 1985 and the present we’ve started or invested in over 100 venture, technology or startup companies. These addressed water or air pollution, or energy grid management, almost none of these were our own ideas, these were others’ ideas. My primary goal is to reduce pollution so for years we’ve been going abroad to transfer technology because that’s where most of the pollution is. I go to China regularly to advise officials and business leaders on methods and processes for addressing pollution. They’ve declared 19 percent of their land too contaminated for agricultural use. This is mostly due to air pollution, air pollution dropping contaminants on the land. Obviously this is a huge social issue. I began to do this in the former Soviet Union in the 1990s, and we’ve also explored similar paths in the Middle East, India, and Indonesia, focusing on areas of most population. In order to address the world’s environmental problems, the solutions must be ubiquitous,  they cannot exist only in Europe or the United States.

In the early part of this decade Cherokee had entered a relatively stable part of its history. The next generation of leaders was being prepared to carry our values and processes forward, and existing projects were operating smoothly. My children were in their 20s and 30s and I was spending time with them and with my wife for the first time in nearly 35 years. I had rebuilt my experimental airplane, and I was installing a parachute in it, looking forward to using it more (the airplane).

One day I received a random call about, eh, about cold fusion. I didn’t give it much credence because I remembered in detail the disclosure about Fleischmann and Pons years before, and I believed the subject was dead. Then thirty days later I received another unrelated inquiry from a different group, so we began to do some research, and then thirty days later, I received a call from another group. We had invested in 100 startup companies and I had never gotten an inquiry about fusion or about LENR – three within 30 day intervals. We funded two of these groups, and then later, as many of you know, we licensed Andrea Rossi’s technology. Since then we’ve made grants to university groups exploring technologies in this space, and we continue to fund additional teams. We envision an ecosystem of collaboration with great scientists who work together to develop the many systems and technologies society will need to shift away from polluting fossil fuels. Our goal is to bring non-polluting energy to those who need it most, especially in the developing world. We also don’t believe that there is one solution, we believe there are many solutions to these problems. To implement this vision, we determined that a business-based approach would be the most effective strategy; we looked at many others.

I know that some of you have felt that businesses are, and have been adversarial to your work. I understand that. But recall that commerce has long proven to be the primary agent of change in every technical endeavor. We engage with the large companies and we all need them to achieve ubiquity for your ideas. We want to work in a collaborative way with many more large companies, and we want to help others do that. We started Industrial Heat because we believed that LENR technology was worth pursuing, even if we were unsuccessful ultimately. We were willing to be wrong, we were willing to invest time and resources to see if this might be an area of useful research in our quest to eliminate pollution. At the time we were not especially optimistic, but the global benefits were compelling.

We’ve had some success, and we’re expanding our work. We’re collaborating with and investing alongside fellow researchers and developers. Scientists compete to be the first, and they count on open sharing of what has been discovered to advance the process. They want to be able to be able to safely share their work in an environment where, why they do what they do, truly matters, and where it aligns with what they value. They want to know that their work will be funded and their ideas will be merit tested, and advanced as merited, and they will be rewarded fairly. We’re privileged to be creating that kind of environment at Industrial Heat. We believe that we may be at last on the verge of a new paradigm shift, one that will create new opportunity for innovation and entrepreneurship to advance the cause of abundance in the face of scarcity, and the continuing calls to simply be less bad.

When I look around this room, I’m filled with two strong sentiments; one warm and positive, and the other is cold and sad. You’ve given your lives to your research; notwithstanding great challenges you’ve made a great difference to the world. Thank you for your years of hard work and progress. Every day I think of you and I am inspired. At the same time, I would like to say how truly sorry I am that society has attacked you for the last three decades. The treatment of Fleischmann and Pons, and the treatment of any of you by mainstream institutions and the media will go down in history as one more example of scientific infanticide, where entrenched interests kill off their divergent progeny, this seems to be a dark component of human nature, and I note the irony of it; we are in Padova, Galileo’s city. But notwithstanding this longsuffering, you remain faithful to your work. Thank you for your intense focus and contributions in the face of challenges. In the face of challenges we must carry on with good faith, good will, good intentions and honesty, driven by the better angels of our nature, not impaired or constrained by the behavior of others. We also need not be constrained by our own minds; ironically the expert who proclaimed that flight had achieved its limits in 1921 was Orville Wright, the inventor of the airplane and the expert who declared that fission was not likely, that of course was Einstein. We must be ever vigilant to keep our own minds open always. Your time is come; the frenzy of fear gripping China and India reporting air pollution and water pollution creating an enormous demand for new ideas, less constrained by the past. Second, the increasing reports of success by many of you continue to offset the presumptions of skeptics. But it does not benefit any of us nor does it benefit society, if we achieve success but lose our battles. Let’s encourage one another to put the needs of society and the needs of others first as we contemplate how to achieve victory.

We have the ability, you have the ability, you have the ability to give the world a healing gift. Many also will have the opportunity to benefit from that. I’m a businessman and I believe business is usually the most effective means of achieving social or environmental reform. As well as for implementing technologies, business is usually the most effective means of achieving social or environmental reform, I believe that. But we must always think first about the needs of others, about the needs of society, the needs of our planet. I do not want success if it comes at someone else’s detriment. My goal is to give your science away, to get out broadly and equitably to the world, and to see you receive honor and rewards for your efforts.

Indeed provocative as it may sound, we’ve reached a tipping point. The potential of your work is so great, and the signs of progress are now so significant. This is our simple manifesto; to pass on a world that is better than the one we received. Abundant non-polluting energy, widely available can make the greatest contribution to this goal. That’s a manifesto pledge for us to keep. It’s a promise to you, to those who went before you, to our children, and their children’s children. Thank you.

Question for Tom Darden: What is your timeline or timeframe?

Tom Darden: What is our timeline? I have found throughout our work that patience is, is a virtue, patience is important. And any people in business, and especially in the venture capital world, I hate to think we might be in the venture capital world, but I guess that’s sort of what we do, ah, many people in the venture capital world want to move very quickly, and of course we would like to move very quickly as well, but they tend to stop, they tend to stop before success is achieved, and I think they tend to stop too quickly, in many instances we’ve stayed, we’ve stayed with technologies for fifteen or twenty years, ah, and continued when we’ve received promising results. So I hate to say this as a business person, um, although for the most part we use our own money, so we’re not worried about investor returns as would be with some of the venture funds, but we don’t really have a distinct time frame. Sooner is better than later, but um, but we are willing to stay for a long time, and I don’t want to move so quickly that we miss something. So I guess I would have to say we don’t really have a timeframe, and ah and ah, we don’t intend to give up.

Apr 16, 2015, 9:04am EDT –
Darden: Cold fusion-focused Industrial Heat showing ‘some success’

This week, Tom Darden, CEO of Raleigh-based Cherokee and a co-founder of the startup, which aims to offer energy alternatives to coal, reiterates that Industrial Heat could save the world – and that he’s not afraid of losing money for the sake of research.

He told a group of scientists gathered for the International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science this week that we need to turn the car around – and quickly – in order to save the world from smog.

“Being ‘less bad’ is not being good,” he says. “It’s still being bad, just a little bit less so. If you are driving a car towards a cliff, it doesn’t help you to slow down – you need to turn around and go in a different direction.”

Environmentally speaking, that’s what he’s trying to do with Industrial Heat. It’s about creating solutions “that don’t create pollution in the first place.”

It started with a “random call” he received about cold fusion that prompted some research, and Cherokee dollars. Darden, but didn’t stop there, investing in university research and funding additional teams.

“We envision an ecosystem of collaboration with great scientists who work together to develop the many systems and technologies society will need to shift away from polluting fossil fuels,” he says.

He helped to start Industrial Heat because he believes the technology is worth pursuing “even if we were unsuccessful,” he told the crowd. “We were willing to be wrong, we were willing to invest time and resources to see if this might be an area of useful research in our quest to eliminate pollution,” he says, adding that the effort has seen “some success” and that work is expanding. “We believe we may be at last on the verge of a new paradigm shift.”

But it’s controversial science. Rossi’s low-energy nuclear reaction technology, dubbed the Energy Catalyzer or E-Cat, is a black box that purportedly produces industrial levels of heat through a system that uses nickel and hydrogen. Believers say it’s a cheap source of clean energy. But skepticism of the science is frequent, evidenced by criticism of a third-party analysis of the device in 2013. And its inventor, Rossi, has been the subject of global scrutiny.

Darden reiterated his belief in cold fusion again this week, apologizing to the other believers in the room on behalf of his skeptical peers.

“The treatment of any of you by mainstream institutions and the media will go down in history as one more example of scientific infanticide, where entrenched interests kill off their divergent progeny,” he told scientists.

Darden, whose first job was at the Korean Institute of Science and Technology working on pollution, has had a lifelong interest in environmental issues. At Bain and Company, he worked in energy efficiency before starting Cherokee, a private equity firm with nearly $2 billion under management.

“Some people think Cherokee is a real estate company because it owns a lot of property,” he says. “It does own a lot of property, but our property work is driven by our pollution focus.”

The cold fusion conference started April 13 in Padua, Italy and lasts through April 17.
Industrial Heat has been relatively quiet since raising nearly $12 million in 2013.

September 27, 2015 –
This investor is chasing a new kind of fusion September 27, 2015

A prominent North Carolina investor is backing a new kind of fusion that operates at much lower temperatures than thought possible, which would make it easier to commercialize. So far the early results show promise.

Tom Darden, the founder and CEO of the $2.2 billion private equity fund Cherokee Investment Partners, made his mark by acquiring and cleaning up hundreds of environmentally contaminated sites. Today he is also an early stage investor in clean technology, having put his own money into dozens of companies in areas ranging from smart grid to renewable energy, and prefab green buildings. More recently he’s backed a new approach to fusion, a potentially abundant and carbon-free form of energy that would operate at a much lower temperatures than big government projects around the world, which require temperatures of 100 million degrees centigrade and more.

This new technology, called Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) is related but very different from the cold fusion technology that in 1989 researchers Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann claimed to have licked when they revealed to the world a simple tabletop machine designed to achieve a fusion reaction at room temperature. Their experiment was eventually debunked and since then the term cold fusion has become almost synonymous with scientific chicanery.

What does Darden, a no-nonsense, investor with a sharp eye on the bottom line and a successful track record, see in this new, risky technology? Fortune’s Brian Dumaine spoke to him to find out.

Q: How did you get involved with low-temperature fusion?

A: Well, I thought the issue was moot after scientists failed to replicate the Fleischman and Pons initial cold fusion experiments. I was literally unaware that people were working on this in labs. I’ve made about 35 clean technology investments, and I thought that if someone’s doing this I should have heard about it. Then three years ago I started to hear about progress being made in the field and I said, “Damn, you have to be kidding, it doesn’t make sense.”

As it turns out, many of those early efforts to replicate cold fusion did not correctly load the test reactors or attempt to properly measure heat. The scientists trying to replicate the work of Fleischman and Pons were mainly looking for nuclear signals, like radiation, which generally are not present. They missed that heat was the main by-product. In addition, I learned that there have been nearly 50 reported positive test results, including experiments at Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, EPRI, and SRI.

Q: The conventional wisdom is that LENR violates the laws of physics.

A: That’s right. To create fusion energy you have to break the bonds in atoms and that takes a tremendous amount of force. That’s why the big government fusion projects have to use massive lasers or extreme heat—millions degrees centigrade—to break the bonds. Breaking those bonds at much lower temperatures is inconsistent with the laws of physics, as they’re now known.

Q: What changed your mind?

A: Scientists get locked into paradigms until the paradigm shifts. Then everyone happily shifts to the new truth and no one apologizes for being so stupid before. Low temperature fusion could be consistent with existing theories, we just don’t know how. It’s like when physicists say that according to the laws of aerodynamics bumblebees can’t fly but they do.

Q: So you licensed the technology of Andrea Rossi, an Italian scientist and entrepreneur who’s been having some success with cold fusion.

A: That’s right. Rossi’s was one of the first investments we made. We’ve been seeing the creation of isotopes and energy releases at relatively low temperatures—1,000 degrees centigrade, which could be a sign that fusion has occurred. We have sponsored tests and more research for Rossi’s work. A group of Swedish scientists tested the technology, and they got good results. A number of other people say they are also getting positive results but these haven’t been confirmed. A Russian scientist, for example claims to have replicated Rossi’s work in Switzerland and got excess heat. That’s a good sign.

Q: So you’re optimistic?

A: Yes, In fact, Rossi was awarded an important U.S. patent recently, which is part of what we licensed, covering the use of nickel, platinum or palladium powders, as well as other components, in his heat-producing device. This is one of very few LENR-related patents to date.

But let me make one thing very clear. We don’t know for sure yet whether it will be commercially feasible. We’ve invested more than $10 million so far in Rossi’s and other LENR technology and we’ll spend substantially more than that before we know for certain because we want to crush all the tests. (Recently, we have been joined by Woodford Investment Management in the U.K., which has made a much larger investment into our international LENR activities—so we are well funded.)

Cold fusion has such a checkered past and is so filled with hypesters and people with a gold rush, get-rich-quick mentality. We need to be calm, prudent and not exaggerate. I don’t want to say that cold fusion is real until we can absolutely prove it in ten different ways and then persuade our worst critics to join our camp.

Q: If it does work, what are the implications?

A: I’m doing this for the environment. If cold fusion works, it would address air pollution including carbon. It could be a game changer.

Oct 9, 2015, 2:42pm EDT Updated Oct 9, 2015, 2:46pm EDT –
Darden on Industrial Heat’s new lab space, controversy surrounding its technology

Industrial Heat is expanding its operations into a 20,000-square-foot lab space in Cary, where it hopes its controversial nuclear technology could make its first, big, proven breakthrough.

The specifics of what Industrial Heat will be doing in that space, however, are few.

Tom Darden, CEO of Raleigh-based Cherokee Investment Partners, is among Industrial Heat’s financial backers– an entity that has raised at least $11 million since it was founded in 2012.

While no products are in production, the online vitriol for what Industrial Heat is trying to do is strong. But so is Darden’s hope that, circulating among the theories and processes Industrial Heat is sorting through, is an innovation capable of saving the world.

Read: Darden: ‘High level’ Industrial Heat discussions happening in China

The controversy:

“If scientists know nothing about it, a scientist will say this cannot occur because it’s not consistent with the laws of physics as they are currently understood,” he says, recognizing the fact that mainstream doubt over whether cold fusion is even feasible has existed for decades.

“The reason for the controversy is scientists look at it and say, ‘I don’t see how this could work.’ I can’t debate with that. What am I supposed to say? I don’t know how it works. There are many things where I don’t know how it works.”

And that’s not stopping his investment. Nor is it stopping the online attacks Industrial Heat, which spun out of controversial research by a man named Andrea Rossi, receives in online forums.

Rossi’s technology, dubbed E-Cat, is a black box that, according to reports, uses cold fusion to generate large amounts of green energy cheaply. Darden sees it as an alternative to the coal plants pumping pollutants into the sky, and says his team is “increasingly interested” in funding the work. He is “absolutely not” ready to release a timeline as to when data will be available, however.

Poll: Is cold fusion the answer to air pollution?

“We’re growing the business and we’re interested. It’s technology that certainly needs a lot of research and a lot of work,” he says, adding that Industrial Heat is not alone. “There is a lot of cold fusion work going on right now. People don’t talk about it very much because it is so controversial they tend to get shut down.”


Industrial Heat did get a small public boost, however, in that it scored a new patent in the United States. The patent was awarded to Rossi and regards the use of “key ingredients,” he says.

While the inventor, Rossi, will not be involved in the day-to-day operations in Cary – his current operation is in Florida, and Darden’s team licenses the science – research is ongoing, Darden says.

Industrial Heat is just one piece of his team’s efforts in thwarting environmental challenges. Other Cherokee investments, in addition to Industrial Heat, will also operate out of the new space. Those startups include Smart Farm, with a technology he describes as a “smart grid for water,” and Tethis, an innovation whose inventor has described it as a “ salt-sucking sponge” with initial applications in the fracking industry. That same sponge could also help make diapers environmentally friendly, he says.

In the meantime, Darden continues to seek out new innovations to tackle air pollution -–and not just in the United States.

“We are aggressively scouring for technologies that would be relevant in China, in Indonesia, in big countries with serious environmental issues overseas,” he says. “Increasingly, our staff and our activities will grow in these countries.”

March 10, 2016 –
Industrial Heat LLC sent a news release to many people and organizations working in the cold fusion/LENR field. It was a statement about their work and investments in the cold fusion/LENR field.

Statement of Industrial Heat Regarding LENR Industry Developments

Industrial Heat’s objective is to make clean, safe and affordable energy available everywhere, and in doing this we want to build a company that demonstrates respect for all. LENR is a key focus of Industrial Heat and we believe multiple technologies in this sector warrant further investigation and development.

Industrial Heat has licensed, acquired or invested in several LENR technologies from around the world. We have developed a group of LENR thought leaders, and we have built a world class engineering team. We are pleased with the technologies we have assembled and with the group of scientists and engineers working on them. Presently, the Industrial Heat team is in the midst of assessing and prioritizing the technologies in our portfolio.

Our operating philosophy is to foster scientific and engineering rigor in the development of LENR. We will thoroughly assess data derived from sound experiments which we design, control and monitor. Embracing failure as well as success is important, because we learn from both.

Unfortunately, there is a long and continuing pattern of premature proclamations in the LENR sector. Because of this, we encourage open-minded skepticism. We believe society suffers when technological advances and innovative experimentation are stifled; likewise, society and the industry suffer when results are promoted and claims are made without rigorous verification and precise measurement.

We value credibility through sound LENR research. That’s why any claims made about technologies in our portfolio should only be relied upon if affirmed by Industrial Heat and backed by reputable third parties who have verified our results in repeated experiments.

Our portfolio of work has never been stronger and we remain excited about the potential we  see. This optimism is grounded in more than just hope, yet a great deal of work remains. The energy challenges of today must be met with viable, clean, safe and affordable solutions.


Apr 05, 2016 –
Andrea Rossi and the Silver Law Group files a lawsuit against Industrial Heat LLC.
Here are some highlights from the original complaint.
Case 1:16-cv-21199-CMA


  1. ROSSI is the sole inventor of a revolutionary low energy nuclear reactor, popularly known as the “Energy Catalyzer” or “E-Cat” (hereafter “E-Cat”), which through the use of a catalyst, generates a low energy nuclear reaction resulting in an exothermic release of energy at a cost well below more traditional energy sources. LEONARDO, a Florida corporation, is the sole owner of all of the intellectual property related to and underlying the E-Cat technology (hereafter “E-Cat IP”).
  2. Defendants, THOMAS DARDEN (“DARDEN”), JOHN T. VAUGHN (“VAUGHN”), INDUSTRIAL HEAT, LLC (”IH”), IPH INTERNATIONAL, B.V. (“IPH”) and CHEROKEE INVESTMENT PARTNERS, LLC (“CHEROKEE”) have meticulously and systematically defrauded ROSSI and LEONARDO in an effort to misappropriate Plaintiffs’ intellectual property rights in the E-Cat IP. […]


  1. Over the past twenty (20) years, ROSSI has invented, developed and improved numerous apparatuses and processes used to generate an exothermic reaction, utilizing a proprietary fuel wafer employing both reagents and a catalyst, which produces energy substantially in excess of the amount of energy input into the reaction at a cost substantially below that of more traditional energy sources. This device is popularly known as the “Energy Catalyzer” or “E-Cat.”
  1. The design and construction of the apparatus, as well as the process by which the device operates, constitutes the intellectual property of ROSSI and LEONARDO. LEONARDO is the sole owner of all rights, title and interest in the underlying E-Cat IP.
  1. LEONARDO and ROSSI have protected their innovative and cutting edge intellectual property through a broad range of intellectual property rights including, but not limited to the US Patent, the Italian Patent, the European Patent, as well as numerous provisional patents, and PCTs.
  1. In early 2012, ROSSI and LEONARDO were contacted by Defendants DARDEN, VAUGHN and CHEROKEE, who expressed an interest in licensing the E-Cat IP in the United States of America.
  1. In pursuit of their stated desire to obtain a license for the E-Cat IP, Defendant DARDEN, and other CHEROKEE representatives, traveled to LEONARDO’s office in Miami, Florida in an effort to convince and induce ROSSI and LEONARDO to grant CHEROKEE a license for the E-Cat IP.
  1. Thereafter, Defendant CHEROKEE sent representatives to LEONARDO’s facility in Bologna, Italy in an effort to further convince ROSSI and LEONARDO to grant CHEROKEE a license for the E-Cat IP.
  1. Similarly, Defendant VAUGHN arranged to meet with ROSSI and LEONARDO in Zurich, Germany to further discuss CHEROKEE’s interest in obtaining a license for the E-Cat IP and to emphasize CHEROKEE’s ability and willingness to pay for such license.
  1. At each of the aforementioned meetings, DARDEN, VAUGHN and CHEROKEE repeatedly stated that “CHEROKEE has billions of dollars at its disposal, and is willing to pay ROSSI and LEONARDO” to license the E-Cat IP.
  1. Moreover, at these meetings, DARDEN, VAUGHN and CHEROKEE fraudulently represented:

a. That if CHEROKEE were granted a license to the E-Cat IP, they would protect the E-Cat IP from dissemination so as to maximize the value of the intellectual property around the world; and
b. That they were authorized to use the funds managed by CHEROKEE to pay LEONARDO in excess of One Hundred Million Dollars ($100,000,000.00) for the E-Cat IP license.

  1. In reliance upon such representations. ROSSI and LEONARDO, with the assistance of their Italian attorney, negotiated the terms of a license agreement with CHEROKEE. Once the terms of the license agreement had been negotiated, ROSSI, at the suggestion of Defendants DARDEN and VAUGHN, traveled to Defendant CHEROKEE’s office to execute the license agreement on October 26,2012.
  1. Upon arrival at the CHEROKEE office, Defendants DARDEN and VAUGHN informed ROSSI and LEONARDO that they had formed a new business entity named INDUSTRIAL HEAT, LLC, which was a “branch of Cherokee Investment Partners , LLC” to serve as the holding company for the E-Cat license, and that the License Agreement would be signed by the new company.
  1. Unbeknownst to ROSSI and LEONARDO, on October 24,2012, DARDEN and VAUGHN had formed INDUSTRIAL HEAT, LLC as a Delaware limited liability company.
  1. Upon expressing concern about the new company, to induce ROSSI and LEONARDO’s execution of the license agreement, DARDEN and VAUGHN, with full knowledge of the falsity of their statements, assured ROSSI and LEONARDO that:

a. “CHEROKEE and INDUSTRIAL HEAT, LLC are the same company”;
b. that IH was “entirely owned and funded by” CHEROKEE; and
c. that “CHEROKEE guaranteed that LEONARDO will be paid in accordance with the License Agreement.”

  1. In justifiable reliance upon the aforementioned representations and assurances of DARDEN, VAUGHN, CHEROKEE and IH, on October 26, 2012, ROSSI and LEONARDO entered into a License Agreement with IH and the then licensee Ampenergo, Inc. for the E-Cat IP (“License Agreement”), a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit “B.”
  1. Pursuant to the License Agreement, ROSSI and LEONARDO granted to IH a license to use the E-Cat IP within the specific limited geographic territories of North America, Central America and Caribbean, South America, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and ArabianEmirates.
  1. In exchange for granting the aforementioned license, IH agreed to pay LEONARDO One Hundred Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,500,000.00) over three (3) payments. The payment schedule was to be as follows:

a. One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,500,000.00) upon execution of the License Agreement;

b. Ten Million Dollars ($10,000,000.00) after the successful completion of a twenty-four hour test period (hereafter the “Validation Test”) performed by an independent expert responsible for validation (hereafter “ERV”); and

c. Eighty-Nine Million Dollars ($89,000,000.00) after the successful completion of a three hundred fifty (350) day test period (hereafter the “Guaranteed Performance Test”) performed by the ERV, or another independent expert agreed upon by the parties.

  1. On or about October 26,2012, upon executing the License Agreement, IH paid to LEONARDO One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,500,000.00).
  1. Upon agreement of the parties, the Validation Test was to take place on April 30, 2013 at LEONARDO’s facility in Fererra, Italy.
  1. On April 28,2013, just prior to the Validation Test, IH informed ROSSI and LEONARDO that they would be required to execute a First Amendment to License Agreement (“First Amendment”) before IH would place the second payment of Ten Million Dollars ($ I 0,000,000.00) into escrow.
  1. On April 29, 2013, IH provided ROSSI and LEONARDO with a copy of the proposed First Amendment which amended the License Agreement to permit IH to assign the License Agreement under certain circumstances, but without relieving IH of its obligations under the License Agreement. After a brief review of the document, ROSSI and LEONARDO executed the First Amendment, a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit “C”.
  1. At the same time, DARDEN, VAUGHN and IH informed ROSSI and LEONARDO that IH had formed a new wholly owned subsidiary, IPH, and that IPH was going to “be the IP holding entity for Industrial Heat.”
  1. In order to convince ROSSI and LEONARDO to agree to such assignment, DARDEN, VAUGHN and IH assured ROSSI and LEONARDO that IPH was a wholly owned subsidiary of IH and that IPH would remain wholly owned by IH until LEONARDO had been paid in full under the License Agreement.
  1. DARDEN, VAUGHN and IH further represented that the assignment would not affect ROSSI or LEONARDO’s rights under the License Agreement.
  1. In reliance upon the aforementioned representations, ROSSI and LEONARDO consented to IH’s assignment of the License Agreement to IPH.
  1. Pursuant to the terms of the First Amendment, no assignment under the License Agreement would relieve IH of any of its obligations or performance under the License Agreement.
  1. In accordance with the License Agreement, and the First Amendment thereto, the parties selected Eng. Fabio Penon as the Expert Responsible for Validation (“ERV”) engaged to perform the Validation Test of the E-Cat Unit in Ferrara, Italy.
  1. On or about May 1, 2013, the ERV performed the Validation Test of the E-Cat Unit, following the test protocol which had been agreed upon by the parties.
  1. Upon conclusion of the Validation Test on or about May 2,2013, the ERV certified that the E-Cat Unit satisfied each of the Validation requirements within the Validation Test period and IH paid to LEONARDO the second payment of Ten Million Dollars ($10,000,000.00) in accordance with the terms of the License Agreement and amendments thereto.
  1. In or around August 2013, the E-Cat Unit was delivered from Fererra, Italy to IH at its facility in Raleigh, North Carolina, where preparations began for the final Guaranteed Performance Test.
  1. As a result of IH’s inability or failure to secure an adequate facility in which the Guaranteed Performance test could be completed, and the failure to obtain the requisite regulatory approval to operate the E-Cat Unit, ROSSI and LEONARDO were prevented from commencing the Guaranteed Performance Test as set forth in the License Agreement.
  1. Acknowledging their failure to secure an adequate location and authorization for the Guaranteed Performance Test, DARDEN, VAUGHN, IH and IPH informed ROSSI and LEONARDO that the time for the commencement of the Guaranteed Performance Test would not begin to toll until an adequate testing facility had been located, the requisite approvals obtained and the E-Cat Unit delivered to the test location.
  1. In October 2013, IH, ROSSI and LEONARDO executed the Second Amendment to License Agreement (“Second Amendment”) which, in relevant part, formally eliminated the requirement that the Guaranteed Performance test period be commenced immediately upon delivery of the plant and instead requiring that the Guaranteed Performance Test period would commence on a date agreed to in writing by the parties. A copy of the Second Amendment is attached hereto as Exhibit “D.”
  1. Despite IH’s and IPH’s continued failure to secure an adequate testing facility, ROSSI took it upon himself to locate and secure a location in which to conduct the Guaranteed Performance Test, as well as obtain the requisite regulatory approvals for the operation of the E-Cat Unit.
  1. On or before August 13, 2014, ROSSI and LEONARDO located a customer in Miami, Florida, who agreed to allow its facility to be used for the Guaranteed Performance Test and even agreed to pay IH up to One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per day for the energy produced by the E-Cat Unit during the Guaranteed Performance Test.
  1. Accordingly, on January 28, 2015, the ERV prepared and submitted to the parties a proposed test protocol for the Guaranteed Performance Test. After suggesting minor changes to the test protocol, and clarifying other points, DARDEN on behalf of IH and/or IPH agreed to the test protocol prior to the commencement of the Guaranteed Performance Test.
  1. Under the supervision of the ERV, the Guaranteed Performance Test was commenced on or about February 19, 2015, after the ERV had performed a thorough inspection of the E-Cat Unit and installed his monitoring equipment therein.
  1. During the Guaranteed Performance Test period, IH and/or IPH engaged and paid two of their representatives, Mr. Barry West and Mr. Fulvio Fabiani, to monitor, maintain, take part in, and report on the operation of the E-Cat Unit being tested.
  1. Throughout the Guaranteed Performance testing period, the results of the test, including measurements and operational status, were routinely reported to DARDEN, VAUGHN, IH and IPH by ROSSI, the ERV and IH/IPH’s agents Mr. Fabiani and Mr. West.
  1. During the Guaranteed Performance Test, IH, DARDEN and VAUGHN each publically claimed, on several occasions, that they had “acquired Rossi’s intellectual property” and upon information and belief, IH. DARDEN and VAUGHN undertook substantial fundraising predicated upon such claims.
  1. Upon information and belief, IH, DARDEN and VAUGHN were able to raise substantial sums of money from numerous investors including, but not limited to, approximately Fifty Million Dollars ($50,000,000.00) from the Woodford Funds (including Woodford Patient Capital Trust, PLC and CF Woodford Equity Income Fund), predicated upon their claims that IH and/or IPH had “acquired Rossi’s intellectual property.”
  1. On February 15, 2016, the Guaranteed Performance test was successfully concluded. The E-Cat Unit had successfully operated for more than three hundred fifty (350) days out of a four hundred (400) day period at a level substantially greater than the level achieved during the Validation Test. By all accounts, the amount of energy produced by the E-Cat Unit during the Guaranteed Performance Test was substantially greater than fifty (50) times the amount of energy consumed by the E-Cat Unit during the same period.
  1. On or about March 29, 2016, the ERV published his final report regarding the operation of the E-Cat Unit during the Guaranteed Performance test. In the ERV’s report, the ERV confirmed that the E-Cat Unit had satisfied all of the performance requirements imposed by the License Agreement including, but not limited to, the requirement that the production of energy was at least six (6) times greater than the energy consumed.
  1. More specifically, the ERV found that over the Guaranteed Performance period, the amount of energy produced by the E-Cat Unit was consistently substantially greater than six (6) times the amount of energy consumed by the unit. In fact, the ERV found that during the testing period, the average energy multiplier (Energy Produced + Energy Consumed) was often greater than sixty (60).
  1. Pursuant to the License Agreement, on March 29, 2016, LEONARDO demanded payment of the remaining Eighty-Nine Million Dollars ($89,000,000.00) due and owing under the License Agreement, but such demand has been refused and the requisite payment has not been made.
  1. ROSSI and LEONARDO have satisfied all conditions precedent before commencing this action.



WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs ANDREA ROSSI and LEONARDO CORPORATION pray for judgment as follows:

A. That IH and IPH have breached the License Agreement:

B. That ROSSI and LEONARDO be awarded all damages adequate to compensate them for IH and IPH’s breach of the License Agreement; such damages to be determined by a jury;

C. That IH and IPH have been unjustly enriched by utilizing the E-Cat IP without compensating ROSSI and LEONARDO for use of the same;

D. That ROSSI and LEONARDO be awarded all damages adequate to compensate them for IH and IPH unjust enrichment occasioned by the use of ROSSI and LEONARDO’s intellectual property;

E. That IH, IPH, DARDEN, VAUGHN and CHEROKEE both conspired to misappropriate, and misappropriated ROSSI and LEONARDO’s trade secrets;

F. That ROSSI and LEONARDO be awarded all damages adequate to compensate them for the Defendants’ conspiracy and misappropriation of trade secrets, such damages to be determined by a jury;

G. That IH, IPH, DARDEN, VAUGHN and CHEROKEE engaged in fraud, and that IH, IPH, DARDEN and VAUGHN engaged in constructive fraud with the intent that ROSSI and LEONARDO rely upon their fraudulent statements and/or omissions to their detriment;

H. That ROSSI and LEONARDO be awarded damages adequate to compensate them for the Defendants’ fraud, such damages to be determined by a jury;

I. That IH and IPH have infringed upon ROSSI and LEONARDO’s U.S. Patent;

J. That ROSSI and LEONARDO be awarded all damages adequate to compensate them for IH and IPH’s infringement of the U.S. Patent, such damages to be determined by a jury;

K. That the damages awarded to ROSSI and LEONARDO for the patent infringement be trebled, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest;

L. That the case be declared an exceptional case within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. §285 and that ROSSI and LEONARDO be awarded their attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses incurred in connection with this case;

M. That this Court enter a permanent injunction enjoining IH and IPH from continuing to infringe upon ROSSI and LEONARDO’s patent; and enjoining IH, IPH, DARDEN, VAUGHN and/or CHEROKEE from further disclosing any of ROSSI and LEONARDO’s trade secrets, including intellectual property, to any other party; and

N. That ROSSI and LEONARDO be awarded such other relief as this Court deems just and proper.


Plaintiffs ANDREA ROSSI and LEONARDO CORPORATION, hereby demand a trial by jury on all issues so triable.

DATED: April 5. 2016
Respectfully submitted:
P.O. Box 710
Islamorada, FL 33036
(305) 664-3363 Telephone
(305) 664-3365 Fax
John W. Annesser, Esq
Fla. Bar No. 98233
Patricia M. Silver, Esq
Fla. Bar No. 198919

Apr 06, 2016, 15:26 ET –
The Silver Law Group, P.A. publishes a PR release about the lawsuit.
Cold Fusion (LENR) Verified – Inventor Sues Industrial Heat, LLC.–inventor-sues-industrial-heat-llc-300247317.html

MIAMI, April 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Leonardo Corporation announced today that on March 29, 2016, Leonardo Corporation received independent third party validation of the overwhelmingly positive results of a nearly yearlong test of Leonardo’s 1MW Energy Catalyzer (“E-Cat”). According to the inventor, Andrea Rossi, the E-Cat generates a low energy nuclear reaction (“LENR”) which produces excess heat energy at a cost substantially below more traditional energy sources. According to the independent third party report, over the 352 day test period, the E-Cat consistently generated energy at a rate in excess of six (6) times the amount of energy consumed by the plant, often generating energy exceeding fifty (50) times the amount of energy consumed during the same period. According to Andrea Rossi, Leonardo Corporation considers the results of the third party test to be “an overwhelming success” and that “the world is one step closer to the realization of a commercially available new, clean and efficient energy source.”

The independent third party validation test was performed by Dr. Ing. Fabio Penon, a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering, at the behest of Leonardo Corporation and one of its licensees, Industrial Heat, LLC. as both desired independent third party verification of the sustainability of the energy production of the E-Cat over a prolonged period. “The results of Dr. Penon’s test was consistent with the measurements taken by the representatives of Leonardo Corporation and Industrial Heat respectively during the course of the test” said inventor Andrea Rossi.

“Leonardo Corporation is working diligently with its licensees, corporate partners and material suppliers to implement a production and distribution plan consistent with the expected demand for the E-Cat units when they are made commercially available” stated Rossi.

Notwithstanding, Licensee Industrial Heat continued involvement in the development and manufacturing of the E-Cat is uncertain at this time. As stated in a lawsuit filed by The Silver Law Group, P.A. on behalf of Leonardo Corporation on April 5, 2016, Leonardo Corporation believes that Industrial Heat breached the terms of its license agreement and misappropriated Leonardo Corporation’s intellectual property relating to the E-Cat. Additional information is available regarding the E-Cat at The lawsuit can be viewed at, Case No. 16-CV-21199-JLK, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida. Leonardo Corporation does not anticipate that there will be any delay in the commercial release of the E-Cat technology as a result of the lawsuit.

Contact: Leonardo’s attorney John Annesser, Esq., 305-664-3955
SOURCE The Silver Law Group, P.A.


Apr 7, 2016 –
Scientist sues Raleigh cold fusion startup, Cherokee Investment Partners over $89M licensing fee

A scientist is suing a Raleigh startup, alleging both the venture and its investors owe him $89 million for a cold-fusion invention he insists he’s validated.

Italian inventor Andrea Rossi is suing Raleigh investors Thomas Darden and JT Vaughn, along with their companies, investment firm Cherokee Investment Partners and clean-tech startup Industrial Heat.

At the heart of the suit is a controversial invention Rossi calls the “Energy Catalyzer” or “E-Cat,” a black box he claims generates a low energy nuclear reaction – cold fusion. If it works, it’s a cheaper, greener way to generate a huge amount of energy, no coal plant required.

Rossi, an Italian inventor who says he’s been working on the technology for two decades, claims patents in the United States and Europe for the technology. But the cold-fusion concept it’s based on may be as controversial as its creator, who himself has been the subject of global scrutiny as multiple critics have tried to discredit his reports over the years.

Darden, in a recent interview, said the potential benefits of Rossi’s science were worth banking on – even with mainstream scientists publicly doubting the feasibility that cold fusion can even happen.

“There is a lot of cold fusion work going on right now,” he said last October. “People don’t talk about it very much because it is so controversial they tend to get shut down.”

In the suit filed Tuesday, Rossi claims Darden and Vaughn contacted him in 2012 about licensing his science for $100.5 million.

According to the complaint, the sum of $1.5 million was to be paid upon the execution of the license agreement, with $10 million to be paid upon successful completion of a 24-hour validation test. Rossi further claims that the remaining $89 million would be paid after a 350-day test period, with both tests to be performed by independent experts. Darden and Vaughn created a company to research the technology, Raleigh-based Industrial Heat.

Both the licensing payment and the first test fee were paid and in 2013 an E-Cat Unit was delivered to a Raleigh facility to prepare for the final test, the suit alleges. That’s where Rossi says the deal started to sour, with Industrial Heat’s alleged “inability or failure to secure an adequate facility” where the test could be completed, preventing him from completing that final milestone in accordance with the initial agreement.

According to the suit, he found his own testing location and conducted a test in Miami. He says Darden agreed to the terms and, in February 2015, an E-Cat test commenced, with Industrial Heat representatives present. In the meantime, Industrial Heat was raising money and publicly talking about its licensing agreement with Rossi, the suit alleges.

Rossi claims the Miami test shows the E-Cat produced 50 times more energy than it consumed, and that a final report was published last month. He says Darden and his cohorts refused to pay the final $89 million and is suing for breach of contract, demanding a jury trial. Netherlands firm IPH International (referred to as Industrial Heat’s assignee in the suit) is also listed as a defendant. Rossi’s company, Leonardo Corporation, is listed as a co-plaintiff.

Darden was unable to comment on the suit Thursday. Vaughn told Triangle Business Journal in a prepared statement that Industrial Heat is aware of the lawsuit, calling it “without merit.”

“Industrial Heat has worked for over three years to substantiate the results claimed by Mr. Rossi from the E-Cat technology – all without success,” the statement reads, adding that Leonardo Corporation and Ross “have repeatedly breached their agreements.”

The defendants plan to “vigorously” defend themselves against the suit.

“Industrial Heat continues to be focused on a scientifically rigorous approach that includes thorough, robust and accurate testing of promising LENR technologies,” the statement continues. “Our goal remains to deliver clean, safe and affordable energy.”

April 7, 2016 –
Industrial Heat Statement on Meritless Litigation from Leonardo Corporation and Andrea Rossi

PR Newswire
RESEARCH TRIANGLE, N.C., April 7, 2016
RESEARCH TRIANGLE, N.C., April 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — We are aware of the lawsuit filed by Andrea Rossi and Leonardo Corporation against Industrial Heat. Industrial Heat rejects the claims in the suit. They are without merit and we are prepared to vigorously defend ourselves against this action. Industrial Heat has worked for over three years to substantiate the results claimed by Mr. Rossi from the E-Cat technology – all without success. Leonardo Corporation and Mr. Rossi also have repeatedly breached their agreements. At the conclusion of these proceedings we are confident that the claims of Mr. Rossi and Leonardo Corporation will be rejected.

Industrial Heat continues to be focused on a scientifically rigorous approach that includes thorough, robust and accurate testing of promising LENR technologies. Our goal remains to deliver clean, safe and affordable energy.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

SOURCE Industrial Heat, LLC

Apr 07, 2016, 15:15 ET –
Industrial Heat Statement on Meritless Litigation from Leonardo Corporation and Andrea Rossi

RESEARCH TRIANGLE, N.C., April 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — We are aware of the lawsuit filed by Andrea Rossi and Leonardo Corporation against Industrial Heat. Industrial Heat rejects the claims in the suit. They are without merit and we are prepared to vigorously defend ourselves against this action. Industrial Heat has worked for over three years to substantiate the results claimed by Mr. Rossi from the E-Cat technology – all without success. Leonardo Corporation and Mr. Rossi also have repeatedly breached their agreements. At the conclusion of these proceedings we are confident that the claims of Mr. Rossi and Leonardo Corporation will be rejected.

Industrial Heat continues to be focused on a scientifically rigorous approach that includes thorough, robust and accurate testing of promising LENR technologies. Our goal remains to deliver clean, safe and affordable energy.

SOURCE Industrial Heat, LLC


Published on May 9, 2016