Intermagnetics General Corporation’s Energy Technology subsidiary, SuperPower, Inc., today announced the launch of a collaboration with Schenectady County Community College and Union College, both of Schenectady, NY, to develop the highly skilled technical workforce that SuperPower will need to produce second generation (2G) high temperature superconducting (HTS) wire. With the support of New York State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I-Schenectady), the collaboration partners have been awarded $5 million in the 2006 New York State Legislative Budget to purchase capital equipment and to complete facility upgrades.
Glenn H. Epstein, chairman and chief executive officer at Intermagnetics said, "We are very appreciative of this funding from New York State that will further support Intermagnetics’ substantial investment to achieve commercial production capability of SuperPower’s 2G HTS technology. This unique and innovative program will provide practical experience and training for locally based students in engineering and technology who we envision will augment the highly skilled workforce required at SuperPower and other related high tech industries in the Capital Region."
Senator Farley, who led efforts to secure legislative funding for the project, said "Schenectady’s consortium is a leading edge model for economic success in the twenty-
first century. By combining the resources of the academic and the business sectors, we are building an agile structure which can take high technology innovations from the research lab to the production floor in record time. What is most exciting to me is that we are moving to put skills in the hands of people in our community. These skills will mean that ‘Made in Schenectady’ will be the global standard of quality for HTS wire. I am proud to be able to bring this help to our community."
"The Capital Region is rapidly emerging as a 21st Century global center for technological research and innovation," said Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno. "With this funding, SuperPower Inc. will be able to blend applied scientific expertise, with entrepreneurship and the help of the Schenectady intellectual community, to market cutting-edge energy technologies that will stimulate economic growth and create new jobs for the region. I am pleased to be able to work with Senator Farley on this outstanding collaborative effort to improve the quality of life and the economy in the Capital Region and throughout New York State."
Superconductors are those materials that, when cooled to very low temperatures, can conduct electricity without losses from resistance. 2G HTS wire is ultimately expected to carry about 140 times the current of conventional copper conductors of the same size. This allows for lighter, smaller, and more environmentally friendly electrical equipment such as generators, motors, power cables and transformers.
Having received the number one ranking among its peers in 2G HTS wire development programs funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the past two years, SuperPower is considered a world leader in this technology.
According to Philip J. Pellegrino, president of SuperPower, the work to implement the collaboration will begin immediately. This will involve:
· Procurement of state-of-the-art quality control equipment at all three institutions
· Renovation of existing lab space at SCCC and Union College
· Renovation of existing manufacturing space at SuperPower
· Building of new lab space for expansion of coursework in quality control processes at SCCC and Union College
· Development of new curricula to provide the education and training needed by future employees in the manufacture of 2G HTS wire and in other related industries
· Use of science and engineering faculty and students to help develop new, currently unavailable tools and related processes to ensure that the 2G HTS wire produced is of the highest quality
"We are exceedingly grateful for Senator Farley’s and Senator Bruno’s leadership and support of this innovative collaboration," Pellegrino said. "This support will enable the partners to drive commercialization and workforce development at an accelerated pace – a critical component to helping SuperPower achieve a first-to-market competitive advantage. The partnership reflects what is possible when business, education and government share a common goal. The funds provided are expected to further SuperPower’s goals of hitting commercialization milestones, continuing our growth in the Capital District, and ultimately, providing technology solutions that help to meet the daunting global energy challenges we face."
"This initiative represents what is possible when higher education, government and industry align resources to achieve results," said Roger H. Hull, president of Union College. "We applaud the leadership and vision of Senators Farley and Bruno, and we are proud to launch this project that clearly benefits the partner institutions, the City of Schenectady and the Tech Valley Region."
"We would like to thank Senator Farley for his vision and assistance with this project, which will enable SCCC to prepare technicians for the emerging jobs of Tech Valley," said Gabriel J. Basil, president of Schenectady County Community College. "We are excited about the College's future in meeting the economic and workforce development needs of this city and this county as they bolster the vitality of the capital region."
SuperPower, Inc. (www.igc-superpower.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intermagnetics General Corporation (NASDAQ: IMGC), created in March 2000 to address the emerging market for high temperature superconductivity, uses core capabilities in materials, cryogenics and magnetics to develop fault current limiters, 2G wire and related electric power components for application to power cables, transformers, motors and generators.
Union College,(www.union.edu) founded in 1795 as the first college chartered by the New York State Board of Regents, offers programs in the liberal arts and engineering to 2,000 undergraduates of high academic promise and strong personal motivation. Union has a long history of blending liberal arts, the sciences and engineering, and the college’s Converging Technologies initiative is further bridging these disciplines and graduating students who are comfortable and prepared to live and work in today’s diverse world. Union’s latest College-wide innovation is the Minerva Houses, which bring together students and faculty for intellectual and social exchange through affiliation with seven campus "living rooms."
Schenectady County Community College: (www.sunysccc.edu) One of the 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, the nation's largest comprehensive system of higher education, Schenectady County Community College in upstate New York has over 4,500 full-time and part-time students. SCCC offers 41 career degree, transfer degree and certificate programs. The College opened its doors for classes in 1969 and continues to provide affordable comprehensive higher education and adult educational opportunities in response to local educational needs.
Intermagnetics (www.intermagnetics.com) draws on the financial strength, operational excellence and technical leadership in the market of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as well as its expanding businesses within Medical Devices that encompass Invivo Diagnostic Imaging (focusing on MRI components & imaging sub-systems) and Invivo Patient Care (focusing on monitoring & other patient care devices). Intermagnetics is also a prominent participant in superconducting applications for Energy Technology. The company has a more than 30-year history as a successful developer, manufacturer and marketer of superconducting materials, high-field magnets, medical systems & components and other specialized high-value added devices.