Intermagnetics General Forms New Subsidiary

Intermagnetics General Forms New Subsidiary
03/23/2000

 

Intermagnetics General Forms New Subsidiary to Pursue Commercial Opportunities in High-Temperature Superconductors

  • New Subsidiary—SuperPower, LLC—To Focus On Emerging HTS Markets
  • Technology Restructuring Initiative Announced
  • New ‘Chief Technology Officer’ Appointed
  • Update on Superconductivity Collaborative Agreement

LATHAM, NY—Intermagnetics General Corporation (Amex: IMG) today announced that it has formed a new subsidiary—SuperPower, LLC—that will focus on developing the potential market for high-temperature superconductor (HTS) applications, especially those designed for the electric utility industry. The SuperPower unit, formerly the HTS-development arm of Intermagnetics’ Technology Development division (IGC-TD), recently moved from the company’s Latham, N.Y., headquarters to dedicated development and manufacturing facilities in nearby Schenectady.

"We have been a global leader in developing HTS technology for more than a decade,” said Glenn H. Epstein, president and chief executive officer. “Creating SuperPower elevates the status of our HTS efforts to a level we view as consistent with the significant potential we envision for applications in electrical power transmission and distribution. This is a market we and industry experts believe will develop into a multi-billion dollar opportunity in the years to come.”

Epstein noted that the company now is actively seeking strategic alliances with world-class companies to further the commercialization of this technology. “We believe HTS products such as transformers, current controllers and superconducting cables could save the electric utility industry billions of dollars in energy costs while improving the efficiency and reliability of the overall system,” said Epstein.

The new SuperPower subsidiary is part of a technology restructuring initiative that includes the creation of the new position of chief technology officer. Dr. Ian L. Pykett, who has been vice president of technology development, has been named to that post. While the company’s core research and product development efforts will continue to reside within each individual business, Pykett will be responsible for originating and analyzing new business growth opportunities and for establishing a coordinated and well-focused technology roadmap for the corporation. Dr. Pradeep Haldar, formerly manager of IGC-TD’s Advanced Devices & Systems group (which incorporated the company’s HTS programs), has been appointed general manager of the new SuperPower subsidiary. With the transfer of its HTS assets to the new subsidiary, the IGC-TD division will be eliminated, and its Industrial Magnetic Resonance assets will be divested. The company believes that these actions will not have a material financial impact.

“While we have demonstrated remarkable technical achievements in applying our magnetic resonance capabilities to the challenges of industrial inspection, process control and quality assurance,” Epstein said, “we have determined that this product line would be better suited to a full-line supplier of industrial inspection equipment.

“We are particularly enthusiastic over recent and pending developments in the HTS arena,” Epstein said, “most recently our collaborative development agreement with two U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories.” On March 13, 2000, the company announced that it had signed an agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) for a collaborative effort to develop HTS tape. The term of the cooperative research agreement is three years while the period for protection of proprietary information can be five years. In that release, the term “exclusive access” referred to technology developed under the agreement. The company also has the first right to negotiate an exclusive license within a field of use, for reasonable terms and conditions, to inventions made by LANL and ANL under the agreement. LANL and ANL will assist IGC in scaling up HTS coating processes developed by LANL to commercial manufacturing levels.

Intermagnetics is a leading developer and manufacturer of superconducting materials, radio-frequency coils, magnets and devices utilizing low- and high-temperature superconducting wire, cable and tape, and related refrigeration equipment. The company’s current revenues are derived primarily from applications within magnetic resonance imaging for medical diagnostics and cryogenic applications for vacuum and related processes. Through its own research and development programs and in conjunction with industry partners, Intermagnetics is committed to further commercialization of applied superconductivity and refrigeration systems, including high-temperature applications for the electric utility industry.

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SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT:
The statements contained in this press release which are not historical fact are "forward-looking statements" that involve various important assumptions, risks, uncertainties and other factors. These include, without limitation, the assumptions, risks, and uncertainties set forth here as well as in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, including but not limited to, the ability of the company and its partners to successfully commercialize and gain market acceptance of HTS products, the company's ability to license certain key technology for the manufacture of HTS tape/wire, the potential adverse impact on the company of emerging patents in this highly competitive field, and the company’s ability to invest sufficient resources to bring HTS products to market.

Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.
SuperPower Inc. is subsidiary
of Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.
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