August 23, 2014


Closer Ties

Charlotte Crane | 1/1/2006

FSU's mag lab (at left) was a major draw, says David Larbalestier, director of the Applied Superconductivity Center.
Florida State University's National High Magnetic Field Laboratory no longer has to have a long-distance relationship with one of its frequent research partners. This month, the University of Wisconsin's Applied Superconductivity Center moves to a new home in Tallahassee's Innovation Park. The move, says FSU, will facilitate expansion of complementary projects, enhance FSU's image as a graduate-research institution and have a substantial regional economic impact.

The UW center works to develop materials with advanced conductivity. Such materials may be used to boost electricity load delivery, in advanced medical devices and in new superconducting magnets. "We would build the magnets using those materials," says Kirby Kemper, FSU vice president for research.

Florida State University dueled with Arizona State University to attract the Applied Superconductivity Center. David Larbalestier, its director, says the lure of FSU's mag lab and the synergy it offered proved irresistible. Besides Larbalestier and two principal researchers, the center's move will also bring to Tallahassee an estimated 30 post-doctoral researchers, graduate students and staff, and some $2 million in research grants.

Florida research prowess shouldn't be measured by Scripps alone, says Kemper. "With Scripps, Florida is trying to make a big push in biotechnology. We think Florida has to have a presence in materials science as well."

Possibilities for positive regional economic impact are high, says Kemper. "Much of what ASC is doing is through grants which are dedicated to bringing something to the marketplace and so require them to have industrial partners."

You can reach Charlotte Crane at

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