Science Minister salutes super New Zealand technology

  • Wayne Mapp
Science and Innovation

World-first super conductor technology created by New Zealand scientists today won praise from Research, Science & Technology Minister, Dr Wayne Mapp.

The Minister was visiting a public display demonstrating the super conductor material developed by Lower Hutt's Industrial Research Limited (IRL) - a Crown Research Institute.

The New Zealand-made high temperature superconductor carries up to 10 times the current of copper wire of the same size, without energy loss. In a world-first, the New Zealand scientists have produced commercially viable superconductor wire and cable - reliable, robust and economical.  It consists of strips of a new material thinner than paint and sheathed in metal.

A joint venture has been formed between IRL and General Cable Corporation to develop and commercially manufacture the high temperature superconductor cabling in New Zealand. It opens a potentially new export area for New Zealand in products such as magnets and transformers.

The Minister said: "This is excellent science being translated into excellent business. It is also delivering significant environmental and energy benefits for New Zealand and the world. It shows that New Zealand has the talent that backs our ambition for the future.

"I congratulate the scientists and technicians who developed this technology. I also congratulate those who are leveraging the commercial opportunities from this science.

"This display brings science out of the labs and shows New Zealanders that their investment is paying dividends," the Minister says.

The Minister met with Dr Nick Long, project leader of the IRL Superconductor Cable Team, and Dr Donald Pooke, CEO of HTS-110, the company formed by IRL to commercialise the technology; and IRL CEO Shaun Coffey.

The display can be viewed at Wellington International Airport throughout December.