Within American Superconductor lies, perhaps, the worlds largest treasure trove of Superconductor IP. Much of this was developed on the US taxpayers dime and should be treated as a national treasure. The strategic potential value of American Superconductor’s IP is incalculable. It advances areas ranging from highly efficient power transmission and lighter more power dense electric motors important in military applications to lighter wind generators that increase the potential maximum power rating of horizontal axis wind turbines, bringing down the cost of off-shore wind.
The US government has been allowing China to gut strategic industries for decades now. All those tough talking congressmen thumping their chests over nuances of what is or is not capitalism or subsidies just blow hot air while the Chinese execute a well orchestrated agenda to not only gain a strong position in strategically important industries but rather to control and dominate them. From rare earth minerals to renewable energy they have a take no prisoners approach. We are asleep at the wheel and it troubles me as I think about the circumstances that my children’s generation will face. While they appear to have taken pages from our playbook in terms of gaining control of the solar industry, it looks like they took it to a much more nefarious level with American Superconductor. That their response has not been swift and severe should be a wake-up call that reverberates throughout the soul of our country. This should be this generation’s Sputnik moment.
Consider these factoids obtained from Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5 a report produced in 2010 by the National Academies:
China has now replaced the United States as the world’s number one high-technology exporter.
China has a $196 billion positive trade balance. The United States’ balance is negative $379 billion.
Roughly half of America’s outstanding public debt is now foreignowned—with China the largest holder.
In 2000 the number of foreign students studying the physical sciences and engineering in United States graduate schools for the first time surpassed the number of United States students.
The world’s largest airport is now in China.
United States consumers spend significantly more on potato chips than the government devotes to energy R&D.
In January 2010, China’s BGI made the biggest purchase of genome sequencing equipment ever.
In May 2010, a supercomputer produced in China was ranked the
China’s Tsinghua and Peking Universities are the two largest suppliers of students who receive PhD’s—in the United States.
In less than 15 years, China has moved from 14th place to second place in published research articles (behind the United States).
Forty-nine percent of United States adults do not know how long it
takes for the Earth to revolve around the Sun.
“The 19th century belonged to England, the 20th century belonged to the
United States, and the 21st century belongs to China. Invest accordingly.”