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A lack of commitment from industry is proving to be the Achilles heel of proposed national efforts to explore high-temperature superconductivity. Even as a White House Science Council report by the so-called Gormory committee was urging the creation of a half-dozen industrial, academic, and governmental consortia to spur long-term research that could lead to commercial applications of the poorly understood phenomenon, two existing consortia were already having trouble attracting company funds.

The Scientist Staff

A lack of commitment from industry is proving to be the Achilles heel of proposed national efforts to explore high-temperature superconductivity. Even as a White House Science Council report by the so-called Gormory committee was urging the creation of a half-dozen industrial, academic, and governmental consortia to spur long-term research that could lead to commercial applications of the poorly understood phenomenon, two existing consortia were already having trouble attracting company funds. One - a purely industrial venture - was formed just last year by the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corp. in Austin, Tex. But by late January, most of its original 13 partners, including Kodak and DuPont, had left or were considering leaving after research yielded few potentially marketable products. The other, a new NSF-funded superconductivity center based at the University of Illinois, has not yet been able to attract corporate participation. Says director Miles Klein, "There just isn't enough...

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