Tom Darden’s Approach to LENR

UPDATE: As I mentioned in the transcription thread, I went through the new video posted by the MFMP ( and found some clarifications and a whole new section of the speech that I had not seen yesterday. It gives an additional aspect to Tom Darden’s message, and I added a new heading below (see Scientific Promulgation). Also, the new video clarified what he said about large companies (see Business Approach)

There’s been a lot of discussion about Tom Darden’s message to the attendees at ICCF19 yesterday, and I’ve been rereading his comments to try and get a better feeling for what might have been his motivations for going to Italy and making the speech. Below are some of my conclusions about his message and overall philosophy based on what he said yesterday.

Environmental Concern

For about half of his speech, Darden focused on environmental problems, and his own history in working to solve them. His credentials in this area are very solid, and  I think this is what he considers to be his life’s work. His interest in LENR stems from his hope that it can be a tool to eliminate pollution. We know he is a friend of William McDonough, who he quoted in his speech; McDonough’s book Cradle to Cradle envisions a world without waste or toxicity in manufacturing, energy production or any other activity in daily life (For McDonough on cold fusion see here).

Diversification and Expansion

I think one thing that was clear in Darden’s speech is that he does not believe in putting all his eggs in one basket. We learned yesterday that Cherokee/Industrial Heat invested in two other LENR groups prior to investing in Andrea Rossi — and the message yesterday that they were prepared to fund many more.  He said, “We also don’t believe there is one solution, we believe there are many solutions to these problems.”
I think there was an implicit invitation made at the meeting to the attendees, that Cherokee/IH is interested in working with them, and treating them well when he said:

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 potent sharing of what has been discovered to advance the process. They want to be able to be able to share their work in an environment where why they do what they do, truly matters . . . they want to know that their work will be funded and their ideas will be merit tested, and advances merited, and they will be rewarded fairly. We’re privileged to be creating that kind of environment at Industrial Heat.

I think it’s clear now that Darden does not have a Rossi-only strategy, but wants to open up an umbrella under which other LENR researchers in the field can gather and collaborate.

Business Approach

Darden showed that Cherokee/IH will follow a commerce-based philosophy when it comes to business operations. Andrea Rossi has often defended this approach as being the most efficient way to gather the necessary capital to diffuse a technology widely, and this means protection of intellectual property and industrial secrets. Darden echoed this sentiment when he said they had looked at alternative approaches, but determined that:

“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.”

When Darden talks about ubiquity here, he means, I believe, getting this technology out everywhere as quickly and efficiently as possible. It sounds to me that the engagement with large companies has begun — perhaps companies that have the manufacturing capacity to help produce IHs E-Cats and other LENR devices. Partnering with established companies would be much more efficient than IH trying to build manufacturing and distribution capacity on their own.

Scientific Promulgation
An intriguing part of Darden’s speech was when he talked about the responsibility to think of the needs of society and of others first. He said this:

“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 environment 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, to see you receive honor and rewards for your efforts.”

I am curious about how IH intends to do this.


I think yesterday’s speech was given from a sense of confidence in the reality and utility of LENR. I don’t think Tom Darden would have flown to Italy to speak to an LENR conference if he was unsure of whether LENR could make a difference. When he talked about paradigm shifts, ‘abundant non-polluting energy’, a ‘tipping point’, and the ‘signs of progress’ being ‘so significant’, I think he was basing that assessment on what he knows — and I think this is probably largely based on what Andrea Rossi has demonstrated, and perhaps he has seen progress in other of his LENR investments.

Darden laid out his vision yesterday of using LENR to “to pass on a world that is better than the one we received.” I don’t think there are many who are positive regarding LENR who would disagree with that. However I am sure that the Cherokee/IH approach to reaching the goals of a clean and prosperous planet will be debated for a long time to come. There is a strong ‘open source’ sentiment among many who are in the LENR community, and we see every day people sharing ideas and discoveries to help in the spreading of knowledge about LENR widely and openly. I think we will see this parallel-track approach to LENR continue — some in the business camp, some in the open source camp, and some in both camps.

Where it all ends up, I don’t know — but there is certainly plenty of new energy surrounding the field today, which I think bodes well for the the future of LENR.

  • Well put Frank.

    • timycelyn


  • guest9

    Wondering who are the other two funded LENR research groups by Cherokee. How advancing are they? Do they “compare notes with Rossi “?

  • orsobubu

    “I know that some of you have felt that business are, and have been
    adversarial to [??] I understand that. But recall that commerce has long
    proven to be primary agent of change in every technical endeavor. We
    engage with large companies and we all need them to achieve ubiquity for
    your ideas.”

    This phrase by Mr. Darden guarantees that LENR is technically working and, in the same time – despite many hopes – it guarantees that LENR will absolutely not change the economic rules of the capitalistic game, making me sure that global competition will become harsher than ever, with all the intended and unintended consequences. Not for a minute believe that LENR can make the world fairer for human race as a whole.

    • MontagueWithnail

      That cannot be achieved by any technology. If this one can radically reduce environmental damage and at the same time improve the quality of life of ordinary people then it’s good enough for me.

    • will777

      You got that LENR is guaranteed to not make the human race “fairer” from that one statement? That is a quite giant implication (and extremely cynical I might add) that you’ve determined unequivocally from such a small statement. I don’t consider myself naive in even the slightest, but you honestly believe that since engagement with large companies is a consideration of Mr. Darden’s that this automatically nullifies all possibilities of LENR becoming an agent for change in the realm of humanity’s fairness? Or am I misconstruing the intent of your comment? My apologies if this the case.

  • JeffC

    A Cherokee / Brillouin connection was reported last year here:

    • ecatworld

      Thanks, Jeff. That’s a good reference.

      • Josh G

        Interesting. But curious, because if Darden invested in Brillouin, you might think that Godes would not be shopping around for a company to finance their reactor, which they are according to the new presentation by Godes that you recently posted.

        • Josh G

          Maybe Godes didn’t like the terms Darden was offering for full financing, so he only made a small investment.

    • lepthadrelix

      From that link, this snippet:

      “A South Korean industrial company recently signed a license with Brillouin, hoping to develop manufacturing and distribution plans for CECR by 2015. One key application is to provide a safe, clean and economically compelling solution to retrofit and repower smaller “stranded asset” conventional fossil fuel or biomass power plants with Brillouin’s CECR technology. “Stranded asset” plants are those idled for any number of environmental, economic or operational reasons.”

      That illustrates how, as we get closer, we will be able to see more clearly how LENR can be brought into the commercial energy ecosystem. The current investment in energy infrastructure is huge, and cannot be “turned off” in a short time frame, due to both energy production and financial needs. LENR can first start by filling niches, and from there disruptively innovate its way up the value chain.

      It also brings to mind the thought that capital is like good topsoil. There are many things that can be grown with it, and there’s a cost to the overall production of value for just letting it wash away.

      • Omega Z

        For Electrical generation, the transition will take long enough to avoid so-called stranded assets in most every situation. Not that it will be slow, but that the task is so huge…

        • olbab

          Without a shred of evidence I submit that there are a raft (ambiguous term) of stranded asset power plants out there, certainly enough to provide a starting market for LENR.

          • Omega Z

            You don’t understand, There is in excess of several Terawatts in power plants on the drawing board. A 10 year waiting list. More is needed, just not on the list.

            Before you replace old plants, you 1st need to meet the need for the new plants. Else, they will be built for fossil fuel use. These plants on order for the most part, are additional need. Not replacement plants. Most old power plants will be replaced only as they meet the end of the life cycle. It’s either that or start turning out some lights.

            Note it takes 3Kw heat to produce 1Kw electric. I hope the E-cat can achieve higher efficiencies with the high temps, but that is yet to be seen.

  • Sanjeev

    I think we, the LENR crowd, are common men and women, but with a better awareness. We are well aware of the benefits of LENR, but I feel an average LENR fan still has no clue about the total implications of LENR. Most of us think that it will be a cheap, clean and distributed replacement of oil/coal/nukes…and that’s all.
    I don’t claim that I understand it all, however, I recommend reading on concepts like Singularity, Transhumanism and Kardashev scales etc to get some idea.

    • Mytakeis

      Or just have a good feeling that what you get excited over is a true course to prosperity and fulfillment for all humans. LENR enthusiasts share such to more or less of a degree. I have no idea of the total gestalt ala LENR, but I’m still happy to be here!

      • we want LENR Fusione Fredda

        Economic models are not necessarily about honour; Darden’ speech contained and communicated just that.

    • Omega Z

      The Kardashian sisters got scales.
      I thought they had a fishy smell…

  • MontagueWithnail

    I think you’re overthinking it. What motivates a person to go to a conference? They get invited to speak, given a free ticket, it’s a subject that they are really interested in, it’s highly connected to their work, it’s in a nice location, there will be people there you are interested to meet, you may get some new business leads… and so on. Not every objective is defined in advance but you get sense that some good things will come out of it (and of course sometimes you are disappointed) and it makes a nice change to the office. Very few go with the express intention of dilvulging new information to the public – there are usually better and higher impact ways to do that.

    • Brent Buckner

      Take a look at the Darden’s resume and estimate the demands on his time and his net worth:

      I don’t think his purpose would be as vague as you put forth – his speech seemed pretty targeted at wooing potential investees.

      • and potential researchers.
        He clearly want to build an ecosystem of LENR scientists and industrialists.
        He need it. alone with rossi and his tiny industrial platform he cannot conquer the world in 5 years as it is need, and as it can be done if you let every industrialist on earth with a chance to get access to LENr technology, LENR scientists, and LENR industrialists competent in complementary domains.

        this is Manhattan project, and today those project are not done with a hierarchy but with a network of selfish actors, who collaborate for the good of all, including themselves, including their peers.

        • Brent Buckner

          Potential investees in this context are researchers! But, point taken – he was looking more widely at the LENR ecosystem.

          • Omega Z

            As Rossi said,
            I it a good time to take a look around…

        • bkrharold

          I agree this is the most likely motivation for his speech. He is in the best position to make a bold statement about LENR reaching a tipping point. Much as the rest of us would like to believe it is true, he is in the cat bird seat, with inside knowledge of the state of the art. He has concluded the time is at hand, and he is mobilizing all interested parties to collaborate in an all out effort to force LENR technology into the mainstream.

          • we want LENR Fusione Fredda

            Hear, hear!

      • Omega Z

        Darden received an Invite. In a whiny tone- he ha I don’t know…
        Dardens Wife: Were going to Italy whether you like it or not. I need a vacation.
        If the WIFE isn’t Happy. No One is Happy.
        And now you know why Darden went….

  • fritz194

    AR is CEO, CTO, … of Leonardo Corporation, which is now property of an investor trust. (…IH)
    LC is probably owned by IH – so they can use LC technology.
    LC is one of IH´s R&D Labs.
    Because LC now owned by IH and/or whatever – the statement of being their CTO is not wrong. (…)

  • Mytakeis

    relax! when each home/apartment/tent/bungalow has an LENR heater, it’ll be warm! And is warmth is the womb of contentment?

  • bachcole

    My only guide is that this world, a world of duality, is unreal, and the fundamental cause of suffering is the degree to which we are bound to it through desires, lust, greed, anger, I, me, my, mine, us, them, etc. The only reality is the absolute unity of existence, consciousness.

    So, obviously, I am not all that sympathetic to materialism.

    Things tend to go wrong when large groups of people get hung up on one end of a duality versus an other end of the same duality. When people generally look down their noses at poor people, that is a serious problem. When people generally blame rich people for everything, that is a serious problem.

  • Buck

    Frank . . . excellent.

    I suggest adding one additional dimension, “Stage of Life”, as it can give additional insight into Tom Darden’s view of his needs, his judgment, the integrity of his stated life ambitions, and his motivations (past, present, and future).

    “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

  • Omega Z

    “My goal is to give your science away, to get out broadly and equitably to the world, to see you receive honor and rewards for your efforts.”

    Frank posted: I am curious about how IH intends to do this.
    Needs defined.
    “My goal is to give your science away”-Sounds like FREE.
    “broadly and equitably”-Maybe just CHEAP.
    “rewards for your efforts.”-You’ll be PAID.

    Recall, Musk gave his battery charging technology away for FREE.
    But it had caveats. It wasn’t FREE, Musk gained by doing this & it equates to financial gains for him at a different stage. Musk will make more profit off of standardized batteries form his battery factory when complete & increased car sales. Profit..

    Darden could accomplish the same thing by how the technology is licensed. With caveats. Fees on Product sold within certain countries/zones would be very small. Tho probably a little higher in developed countries. The Volume alone will provide compensation even at very low license fees.

    Think of this like a 1 cent per gallon gas tax in the U.S. Equates to about 2 Billion$ a year in tax revenue. 1 cent a gallon isn’t much, but volume is big. They have many options here.

    Ultimately, this wont make that much difference. Turbines, Generators, Concrete & Steel structures will cost the same as will labor costs from a skilled labor force already in high demand.

    It would be comparable to saying, I’ll sell you a fuel injector for cost for that new car. You still have to buy the car. It’s only a few $100 cheaper.

    • you descrfibe well the logic of an ecosystem.
      If you force people to give technology fr free, you seems to make charity, to help humanity, but in fact you just kill innovation, you convince people to be bank accountant, not researcher or entrepreneurs.

      if technology is paid at high cost, then nobody buy it and they prefer to reinvent the wheel. that is what patent do in real world (except some good case)

      you also describe how a cmpany can abandon its property to build an ecosystem of people who will give value to what you created. people using Musk batteries , Musk chargers, are giving value to his batteries, to his charging station, t his cars… every software developpe using wndows, every software company cloning windows, every PC manufacturer clonig PC, gives value to MS Windows, as long as they continue to be the best Windows, to have a trusted brand…

      the idea of an ecosystem is not charity, it is “give and take”, it is “mutual self interest”. part of the value you gain by helping, supporting the others actors is by the value of the ecosystem, and the benefit you get from it…
      It is not easy to design a system where you have an interest that whot could be competitors, or simply clients or providers or strangers, that all stakeholders win… for your own selfish interest…

      take for example LENR startup. if Rossi’s technoloy catch up, does it mean the end of other startups? of LENR labs ?
      not at all !
      this mean that money will flow by billion in Tohoku university, in UK, Italy, in Brillouin, in LENRG, in Indian BARC.
      Unless he involve thousands of medium innovating companies, Darden, will never be able to saturate the market, and Brillouin will habe money to develope it’s technology and sell it where it is prefered to E-cat…

      the success of Darden will be even huger if he simply license his technology for cheap, asking that his partners just share their own inventions for same cheap…. give and take… ecosystem logic.
      why not let GE develop E-cat for home ? Areva develope E-cat for grid… alstom, E-cat for train and metro … and let them give access to their technology so that some cargo builder use Alstom echnology (and pay), E-cat technology (and pay) to build new cargo, proposing his new technology to the group (and be paid by … cruise boats manufacturers… who will be used by building companies….)

      Free like a beer is not good… what have no price have no value.
      Free like speech is what we should ask to inventors… and cheaper price so they get money from the volume and not from scarcity. targetting volume in innovation is less risky than targetting scarcity.

      • Omega Z

        I agree. The best path for Darden/Rossi is to license the technology to many companies. This creates competition in pricing. It also frees Industrial Heat to focus on R&D rather then manufacturing.

        I believe this is ultimately the path they will take. Manufacturing is not Industrial Heat’s area of expertise. They are business people, not manufacturers. This will determine how successful they will be. By licensing they would be big & spread LENR fast. By manufacturing they will likely be surpassed.

  • Omega Z

    They provided funding to 2 others.
    The Bought Rossi’s.

    They are also providing funding for other institutions, Universities Etc…

  • Omega Z

    They King sent his troops out to collect his bounty.
    When they came back, they exclaimed Sire, We found the farmers had set aside part of their crop in out buildings in an attempt to hide it from us. They were cheating you of part of your bounty. But do not worry. We Took it ALL. Great says the King. With this extra grain we shall have a great feast.

    Come the next harvest, The King once again sent his troops out to collect his bounty.
    When they reached the farms, they found the fields were fallow. The storage buildings were empty. They asked the farmer why he had no crop for the King. The farmer said, you took my profit, I had nothing to invest back into the ground for the next crop. Of course they beheaded this farmer for causing such a calamity.

    This is where those profits you’re concerned with go. They are reinvested. You do not plant once & have never ending food. It is a continuous cycle. Old factories eventually need replaced & new need to be built. These are jobs making product for people. There are no huge piles of money locked away in vaults. It is all invested for the future.

    These investors are the caretakers & they will live a higher lifestyle then you. This is there compensation. Just as if they do a poor job, they can end up broke. If you want to share in this, you merely need to buy into these investments. There available to everyone.

    Start when your young & there is a high probability that you will be able to live quite well when you retire. And, if you choose well, you may even become rich.

    There is another ailment many in society suffer from that is closely related to Greed. It’s called Envy. Someone will always be smarter, better or have more then you. Nothing will change that. Not even a socialist/communist system. It’s life

  • Alan DeAngelis

    This calls the politicians’ bluff. How will they get there carbon tax if there is a source of energy that doesn’t produces CO2?

    • Alan DeAngelis

      Pardon me.
      ….their carbon tax…

  • bkrharold

    I just watched a documentary on Link TV named “Fall And Winter” about the unfolding global crisis. It began by stating that after the bombing of Horishima, the elders of the Hopi Indian tribe had chosen Thomas Banyacya from the Wolf Fox and Coyote Clan of the Hopi Sovereign Nation, to deliver an urgent message to the world. More than 40 years later after several failed attempts Thomas finally spoke on the floor of the United Nations. He said the World is in trouble now, and we are heading for great destruction if we don’t take immediate steps to turn around and make life beautiful and clean. He went on to we are rapidly approaching a time of “purification” from which there will be no way out for all of us. He bitterly complained at the number of empty seats, saying this was the first time in History, that a representative of thre original inhabitants of this land had been invited to speak at the assembly. The day after that speech in 1992, New York was battered by one of the worst storms in history, up to that time.

    I mention this because it suddenly occurred to me that Cherokee is the name of an native American Indian tribe. It is ironic that another Thomas from Cherokee Industries might be able to help us take a new path.Thomas Banyacya said it was not too late, I hope that he was right.

    • Mats002

      Orlando Riva Sound, a german Disco project in late 70:s did some amazing hits telling about the Cherokee people. The biggest hit ‘Fire on the water’ is giving the very same message you write about bkrharold, ORS also had a hit with ‘Cherokee people’, – disco with a serious message. The video for ‘Fire on the water’ has a lady that will destract you from actally listening to the lyrics, therefore this link is better. Amazing message from 1979!

      • Omega Z

        The distraction I believe is Sophia Reaney

        Cherokee people is actually Indian Reservation – written by John Loudermilk & 1st record by Marvin Rainwater(1959) titled “The Pale Faced Indian”. It 1st became a #20 top hit in 68′ cover by Don Fardon,
        It became a popular #1 in 71′ I believe by Paul Revere & The Raiders.
        Orlando Riva Sound did their rendition in 79′. There’s been a few other renditions since then. Good songs are reincarnated

  • will777

    I appreciate you taking the time to respond, I really do. However, I’ve read this post at least five times now, and just when I think there is something coherent within it, there appears an antecedent, a newly created compound word, an over explanation, or just simple inconsistency that wipes out any hope I had in making sense of the post. I’m not even going to try and reply to your post in any meaningful way and just leave it as a means for others who might have been in the same boat as me to try and glean some further understanding. Thanks again for taking the time.

    • orsobubu

      Tell me an inconsistency among the many you found, and I will explain better. Here or at [email protected].

    • Omega Z

      He believes everyone should get an even share of everything regardless of individual output. Like anyone wants to put out surplus to support a freeloader. He has read some economic books of another time. Or at least claims to have read, And thinks he fully understands economics. Something no intelligent economist would claim. A Good economics professor will admit, they have no clue why it works at all.