Infusion Institute, Inc. (III), is being formed by Wikiversity user Abd, in collaboration with many others, to facilitate the kind of basic research that was recommended by both U.S. Department of Energy reviews, in 1989 and 2004. Much cold fusion research has not been replicated, and, while some research has seen replication, the lack of funding has often led to corners being cut, and promising results have languished, sometimes for many years, while research priorities were elsewhere (mostly attempting to "improve" the effect).
III will have a governing board consisting of persons willing to promote genuine scientific research, following the scientific method. Members of the III Board will not necessarily be experts in cold fusion research; for expertise, they will depend on the collective comments of the public and the Advisory Board.
III will conduct public discussions to identify promising research projects, stimulated with reports on existing research that may be considered candidates for testing. Prior work will be examined, protocols described in as exact a level of detail as possible, and difficulties or possible artifacts with the original work will be identified, and suggested methods of identifying artifact will be documented. The public discussions will be refactored into a report by III staff.
The report on public comment will be presented to the III Advisory Board for expert review. The Advisory Board may include skeptics and others critical of the field of cold fusion, provided, of course, that they are willing to serve and have some level of expertise or knowledge, as well as those who have been active in the field. (Membership on the board will represent a choice by the III governing board that the proposed member may be able to contribute expertise or ideas. Such membership will not signify any specific obligation to comment on any specific proposal. The Advisory Board is not a governing board.)
Again III staff will collate Advisory Board comments into a specific project proposal, describing the experimental work to be done, and present a report to the III Board. If the Board approves a project, III will then solicit bids on doing the work. Labs may partially bid on work, i.e, may propose to do part of a project, specified in their bid.
III will then present specific project proposals, with budgets ("bids"), to funding agencies, which will directly engage with research organizations that have proposed to do the work. III may endorse certain specific bidders as suited to do the work, based on recommendations of the Advisory Board and staff research. However, final funding decisions will be up to the funding agencies, III merely acting in an advisory capacity. Research contracts will likely be between the funding agency and the research organizations chosen by the funding agency.
III will be modestly funded through charitable donations and memberships, III will use volunteers where practical, under the supervision of III staff.
III will cooperate and collaborate with other organizations in the field of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, including commercial entities, the proposed Industry Association, the International Society for Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, and established research organizations.
A recent post to a private mailing list, by a well-known researcher in the field, asked for "What experiments would people suggest to form a sufficient basis for proof of the existence* (first) and utility (second) of the phenomenon (or phenomena) that we call CMNS." "CMNS" is a generic name used for what is more popularly called "cold fusion," or more neutrally, LENR or Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, and other names, such as, very specifically, the FPHE, or Fleischmann-Pons Heat Effect, or, in some new university projects, the AHE, the Anomalous Heat Effect.
Phase I projects are designed as what is described as "first" in the question. A Phase I project will clearly address the issue of reality of "cold fusion," or LENR. There is a forthcoming paper by Abd that describes the "Replicable cold fusion experiment: heat/helium ratio." (uncorrected proof, temporary link.) An investigation (a series of experiments, possibly done by more than one research group) that seeks to measure the heat/helium correlation and ratio with increased precision satisfies reasonable criteria for a Phase I project. Our subpage, linked from the section header, will begin by examining what experiments have been proposed for initial funding.