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UH, SuperPower Sign Superconducting Wire License Agreements

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Melissa Carroll
UH Cullen College of Engineering Dean Joseph Tedesco, and Venkat "Selva" Selvamanickam, M.D. Anderson Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering, sign two license agreements with SuperPower. Photo by Thomas Shea.
UH Cullen College of Engineering Dean Joseph Tedesco, and Venkat "Selva" Selvamanickam, M.D. Anderson Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering, sign two license agreements with SuperPower. Photo by Thomas Shea.

The University of Houston executed two license agreements with SuperPower, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Philips Electronics.

One agreement covers the intellectual property on second-generation (2G) high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire that is developed under the Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA) previously executed between the two parties. This sponsored research program is led by Venkat Selvamanickam, M.D. Anderson chair professor of mechanical engineering and the director of the Applied Research Hub of the Texas Center for Superconductivity (TCSUH) at UH. The second agreement covers the fundamental composition of matter patent of high temperature superconductor that was discovered by Paul Chu in 1987 at the University of Houston.

“For the past several years we have partnered closely with the Texas Center for Superconductivity and the University of Houston on our wire development efforts. The execution of both the Sponsored Research Portfolio License Agreement and the Chu Patent License Agreement with the university enables SuperPower to continue to advance in the development of world-class 2G HTS wire for a broad range of applications by providing rights to the basis intellectual property in the field,” said Arthur P. Kazanjian, general manager of SuperPower. “The SRA in particular further binds the already strong relationship between SuperPower and the university that began when Selvamanickam joined the university in 2008 and moved from being SuperPower vice president and chief technology officer to the role of chief technology advisor.”

Gérard van Spaendonck, senior vice president and chief financial officer, Imaging Systems, Philips Healthcare, added, “the protection afforded SuperPower through these agreements will cover the ongoing SRA development work of SuperPower scientists and university students and staff that is being led by Dr. Selvamanickam. In our drive to get the product into a state of commercial readiness, this work, which fully complements the strong base of intellectual property built by SuperPower over the past ten years, is essential to meeting the demanding customer requirements.”

“The licensing agreements demonstrate the high value placed by industry on the cutting-edge research at the University of Houston, especially in the energy and medical fields, and is another indication of tier-one quality research that is being conducted by our faculty,” said University of Houston President Renu Khator. “We are excited about the opportunity of industry commercializing high temperature superconductor materials and technology that are products of University of Houston research.”

The University of Houston and SuperPower are partners in the recently announced $3.5 million Emerging Technology Fund award from the state of Texas to create the Applied Research Hub of TCSUH, as well as in the recently awarded $10.6 million Smart Grid Fault Current Limiting Superconducting Transformer Demonstration program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

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