Centre for Applied Superconductivity open for business

9 March 2017

For an idea in physics to have real-world impact, you need an unbroken chain stretching from physics, through materials discovery and development, and right along to industry. Joining up these disparate areas in the field of superconductor research is the aim of a new Centre for Applied Superconductivity (CfAS), a collaborative effort between local industrial companies and Oxford University’s Departments of Materials and Physics. Funding has been provided through the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) and has led to the creation of new laboratories within both University departments. Much of the UK’s strength in applications of superconductivity is based within a 20 mile radius around Oxford. This origin of this geographical concentration of expertise can be traced back to the research work performed in the Clarendon Laboratory more than fifty years ago that was spun out into companies such as Oxford Instruments.

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The new Centre’s aims are to research new superconducting products and processes, to provide world-leading problem solving expertise for industry and to train new generations of technicians and scientists for the growing number of Oxfordshire companies working in this increasingly important technology field. CfAS was formally launched on Monday 27th February 2017 at an event attended by the Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Michael Fallon (who was in Oxford to announce members of a Defence Innovation Advisory Panel) and Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of OxLEP. The new laboratories in Physics have been completely refurbished and are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including a new 16 tesla Physical Property Measurement System (partly funded by Oxford’s John Fell Fund), which will be used to study newly developed superconductors.

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