The second-phase project in the development of fundamental technologies of the superconducting industry started in April 1998. The main purpose of this project is the development of coated superconducting tapes, superconducting electronic devices, and superconducting bearing a system, as well as the development of basic material science of high-Tc materials. In the development of coated conductors, 1-2-3 type materials will be used, and high critical current and excellent magnetic field dependence are expected. In the development of electronic devices, the improvement of single magnetic flux quantum device will be undertaken and the integration of these devices on one chip will be tested. In the development of superconducting bulk and superconducting bearings, the bulks of NdBCO, SmBCO, and other materials will be made to obtain a stronger pinning effect and to get a stronger trapped magnetic field: also, the high-quality bearing system is to be improved. The material science of the high-Tc materials is still very important, and it is expected to emerge as “Device Physics and Chemistry” soon.
This paper describes R & D activities on oxidesuperconductors (HTS: high-Tc superconductors) in Europe. The information was obtained mainly during the author's 18-month stay in Twente University, the Netherlands, from March 1997 to September 1998. There are two strong impressions on the European activities of HTS: i) collaboration among industries, national laboratories and universities is strong, and ii) R & D for HTS power application is vitally proceeding. The organization named SCENET (European Network for Superconductivity) plays an important role in linking government laboratories, universities, and industrial laboratories in the European Community, Switzerland, and Norway, enabling European industries to compete in the world markets. This network organizes workshops for the members to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise within Europe for future collaborative research. Moreover, some R & D projects are proceeding with the support of EU funding. Many activities are focusing on the power applications of HTS. Two groups are vitally developing mutlifilamentary Bi2223 tapes with an interfilamentary resistive barrier. Long-period operating tests of a 630kVA transformer and a 1.2MVA fault-current limiter have been successfully completed by the ABB group, which is now proceeding to the next phase of capacity increase of the apparatuses. Some other activities are also reported here.