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Deal with US company opens doors for Robinson Research

Deal with US company opens doors for Robinson Research Institute

The Robinson Research Institute has signed a strategic partnership agreement with NASDAQ-listed Superconductor Technologies Inc. (STI) which will see the Institute’s innovative technology used for new applications in the energy and health industries.

Based at Victoria University of Wellington, the Robinson Research Institute has leading-edge expertise in producing high temperature superconducting (HTS) technologies including HTS Roebel cable, a winding cable that is used in large magnets, rotating machines and transformers.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, STI is developing and producing a new and world leading high performance HTS wire called Conductus®. The target markets for STI wire are high power transmission cables, devices to control fault-currents, utility-scale generators and power transformers. These devices exhibit greater power transmission capacity, higher reliability, lower fire risk and a reduced environmental impact.

Robinson Research will use STI’s HTS wire to fabricate Roebel cable and, in partnership with New Zealand and international companies, undertake projects demonstrating the value of HTS technologies in the target magnet, generator and transformer markets.

“The Robinson Research Institute has been a valuable STI ally as we prepare for the commercial launch of Conductus wire,” said Jeff Quiram, STI’s president and Chief Executive Officer. “Robinson’s wire-performance characterisation expertise and applications knowledge are truly impressive.

“As STI moves to full production, we are implementing a comprehensive plan to supply Conductus wire and support global leaders in the commercialisation of superconducting devices.

“Robinson is an expert in the development of innovative superconducting technologies and products. Jointly we have already identified multiple projects including applications such as rotating machines, transformers, scientific magnets and MRI systems. Additionally, Robinson and its partners have a strong focus on Asia and we believe our agreement will help STI to expand our reach into that fast-growing market.”

Working alongside many industry leaders, the Robinson Research Institute and its New Zealand partners have built superconducting devices for the energy industry, recently completing a transformer for use in the electrical grid. In the healthcare market, Robinson has focused on developing MRI systems.

Professor Bob Buckley, Director of the Robinson Research Institute says: “We believe that STI wire’s high uniformity and exceptional low-temperature and high-field current capacity could pave the way for new products that require best in class wire performance, including Roebel cable applications.

“The market for superconducting systems is continuing to expand with heavy emphasis on high-field magnets in smaller packages for products such as MRI and NMR devices.”


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