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 The 27th International Superconductivity Symposium (ISS2014) will again be held this year, sponsored by the International Superconductivity Technology Center (ISTEC). A century has passed since the discovery of superconductivity in 1911, and a quarter of a century passed since the discovery of oxide-based high temperature superconductors. During this time superconducting technologies have been applied to a variety of fields including MRIs, coil technologies for generating high magnetic fields, and maglev train technology. In particular, since the discovery of oxide-based high temperature superconductors, the fields predicted for superconducting technology applications have expanded. Whilst superconducting technologies have been progressing, the need to establish energy savings and safe/reliable social systems has become urgent.

 We highlight the fields where superconductor technology can potentially contribute to establish such a society, and also those fields where superconducting applications have specifically been investigated so far. These include,

(1) Low-loss power systems
(2) Low-power consuming information processing technologies
(3) Next generation transportation technologies operating with greater efficiencies
(4) Easier introduction to renewable energies
(5) Medical systems employing stronger magnetic fields
(6) Sensor technologies in seismic detectors and metal-resources exploration
(7) IEA-HTS-IA and ISS Joint Special Session for Young Generation

 It is fundamental technologies such as understanding mechanisms of the superconducting phenomena, high-quality superconductor fabrication technology, AC loss reduction technology, cooling technology and various simulation technologies that have led to the realization of such practical equipment. Whilst the explorations of Fe-based and other new superconductors have been intensely investigated, the progress of technologies related to metal-based superconductors has also continued, with some having already been realized for practical use and commercialized. It is expected that such universal technology development will further accelerate with broadened international collaborations.

 This symposium, launched back in 1988, is an international symposium and now has 400-500 participants, with around 100 participants from more than 20 overseas countries. I would like to conclude with a message from all ISS2014 committee members who hope that this symposium will serve as a forum for scientists, engineers, academic students and corporate executives worldwide, and with a spirit of international cooperation, facilitate the reporting of new research outcomes, the exchange of opinions and discussions on a variety of superconductivity technologies ranging from fundamental to practical applications.

Koichi Kitazawa
Organizing Committee ISS2014