Collaborative SCE projects in both Japan and the United States have had a major impact on the status of the technology in each country, and even worldwide. Particularly striking successes have been achieved when it has been possible to set aggressive system-level goals for a project, and if necessary to modify them later. (This is most readily accomplished in centralized projects.) An important advantage of collaborative projects is the availability of (relatively) long term and stable funding, which allows sensible planning of the ongoing R&D and the final objectives.

All three categories of collaborative research and development activities in SCE are in use in Japan: centralized projects, distributed projects, and joint ventures. The United States has not made use of a centralized project or organization in SCE, as it has at Sematech and MCC for semiconductor technology.

The educational benefits of a centralized activity, such as the International Superconductivity Technology Center Superconductivity Research Laboratory (ISTEC/SRL) and the Superconducting Sensor Laboratory (SSL) in Japan, have not been realized in the United States. On the other hand, informal collaborations between individual scientists or small groups are common in the United States, but rare in Japan.

Published: July 1998; WTEC Hyper-Librarian