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Transformative superconductor unveiled

19 April 2016

Prototype high-temperature superconductors were unveiled today as part of a landmark research agreement between German engineering giant Siemens, Queensland University of Technology and the Australian Government’s Defence Science and Technology Group.

The technology enables dense currents to be carried with virtually no energy loss and could reduce the size and weight of conventional motors by more than 30 per cent.

Attending the launch at the Banyo Pilot Plant Precinct, a QUT research facility on Brisbane’s north, Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy said the three-way partnership was a huge vote of confidence for Australian ingenuity.

Siemens has initially invested $2.5 million in equipment, resources and research and development.

“Engines that are one-third smaller and lighter will lead to major energy, cost and environmental savings,” Mr Roy said.

“It’s incredibly exciting to see a Queensland institution out front on this world-leading research in what is a snapshot of the future Australian economy.

“It’s the next stage of advanced manufacturing driven by local R&D – a re-tooled manufacturing sector that will provide our jobs growth as the economy transitions.

“The project also shows how collaboration is critical between our bright research minds, the private sector and the government.

“If we can work together to commercialise these great ideas and turn them into products, businesses and services, then we really can change the world for the better.”

Siemens Australia CEO Jeff Connolly said superconductivity had strong maritime defence applications.

“For the Australian Navy, the partnership opens a pathway to more energy-efficient vessels with significant leaps forward in size, weight and capacity,” he said.

“These ships will also have less environmental impact and will be cheaper to operate.”

Media contact: Mr Roy's office 02 6277 4646
Department media: media [at] industry.gov.au