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Superconductor Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCON) investors are overwhelmingly excited today following the news that the telecom-equipment maker has been selected as prime recipient of the $4.5 million program award provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), on behalf of the Advanced Manufacturing Office, for its Next Generation Electric Machines (NGEM) program. With the company trading at a $6.5 million market cap, this is a decent size award.

Superconductor Technologies shares reacted to the news, surging nearly 70% to $3.41 in pre-market trading Wednesday.

“Advancing these enabling technologies has the potential to boost the competitiveness of American manufacturers and take the development of more efficient electric machines a giant step further,” said Mark Johnson, director of the EERE Advanced Manufacturing Office. “These technology R&D projects aim to significantly improve industrial motors for manufacturing, helping companies who use these motors in manufacturing save energy and money over the long run.”

“We believe that being selected first by our esteemed proposal partners and then winning the DOE award recognizes STI’s unique HTS manufacturing process and our ability to achieve high performance, cost efficiencies and commercial scale capacity,” stated STI’s president and chief executive officer Jeff Quiram. “In addition, the significant wire improvement goals for this program will address our customers’ desire for increased infield magnetic performance and high performance/low cost wire for many applications, such as motors, generators, magnets, power cables and MRI machines. STI expects to transition from R&D to full scale production of motor- and generator-optimized wire during the three-year project plan, which will enable our superconducting technology to be introduced into Next Generation Electrical Machines utilizing high performance/low cost HTS wire.”

TWMC’s president Pat Rogers stated, “TWMC recognized the immense value of superconductor technology for high-power electric machines early, and we are committed to their commercialization. We look forward to collaborating to develop the transformational technology needed to achieve commercial viability of high power superconducting next-generation electric machines.”

MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center Assistant Director Joseph V. Minervini stated, “STI’s goal of high performance at low cost can be a game changer for a wide range of applications, not only at temperatures near liquid nitrogen, but also at lower temperatures.”

UNT’s Assistant Professor Materials and Science Engineering Dr. Marcus L. Young stated, “By bringing together university knowledge and capabilities from MIT and UNT with STI, a world class manufacturer of superconducting materials, and TWMC, the end user and device maker with over 100 years of experience in motor design and application, the full range of research and development to product manufacturing and wide scale commercialization of superconducting materials will be achieved.”

Superconductor Technologies, Inc. develops and commercializes high temperature superconductor materials. develops and commercializes high temperature superconductor materials and related technologies. It has three product lines all of which relate to wireless base stations: SuperLink, AmpLink, and SuperPlex. The SuperLink is a compact and reliable receiver front-end HTS wireless filter system to eliminate out-of-band interference for wireless base stations, combining filters with a proprietary cryogenic cooler and a cooled low-noise amplifier. The AmpLink is a ground-mounted unit for wireless base stations that includes a amplifier and up to six dual duplexers. The SuperPlex is a multiplexer that provides extremely low insertion loss and excellent cross-band isolation designed to eliminate the need for additional base station antennas and reduce infrastructure costs.