John M. Rowell
Of all Japanese and U.S. collaborations and consortia, Japan's International Superconductivity Technology Center (ISTEC) is unique in a variety of ways. Its budget is considerably larger than that of any other project, in fact an order of magnitude larger than most U.S. projects. It is the only project that has international participation. It has responsibilities that go well beyond its technical programs. For example, it organizes a major conference each fall that has become one of the important annual events in the field of high temperature superconductivity (HTS). Also, ISTEC has participated in business-oriented meetings with the Council on Superconductivity for American Competitiveness (CSAC) and Connectus and with them has made projections of the market size for both electronics and power applications of superconductivity. Finally, it is the only collaborative activity that, with the approval of Phase 2, is entering its second decade of funding.
In view of ISTEC's unique characteristics, it is assigned a separate chapter of this report. This allows not only a description of ISTEC's structure, operation, and budget, but also inclusion of information presented by Masatoshi Toriihara, Senior Managing Director of ISTEC, at the WTEC Workshop on Superconducting Electronics (SCE) held in Washington on 10 April 1997. Mr. Toriihara's comparisons of activity in superconductivity in Japan, the United States, and Europe confirmed many of the conclusions reached by the panel during its visit to Japan.