SuperOx expands to Provence to conquer Europe

success story
SuperOx expands to Provence to conquer Europe
10 November 2016 / Aeronautics , doing business in provence, invest in provence

Cédric Etlicher, who advises the Russian company on development in the European Union recounts

The Russian company SuperOx, a superconductivity specialist, chose the Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolitan area as its base to penetrate the European market. The manufacturer of ultra-high temperature cables is targeting the local aeronautics, nuclear, naval and aerospace sectors. It also plans to establish working relationships with the region's major research labs. SuperOx is the 15th company to bring its business to Bouches du Rhône in the short span of just three years thanks to the support of Provence Promotion as part of the Henri Fabre project.

There are only a handful of global suppliers of high-temperature superconductors, a technology that is not yet widespread. Indeed, there are just a few companies that know how to work with these applications that are destined to revolutionize the energy and transportation sectors.
SuperOx is one of these rare specialists. As part of its international development strategy, the Moscow-based company identified the regions in France that would make good locations for its future European subsidiary.
"We met with the Russian Embassy in France and the Business France organization which handles foreign investments. We sought out potential partners in industry and among universities," recounts Cédric Etlicher, who advises SuperOx on development in the European Union.

Two decisive days in Provence

The company originally planned to open an office in Pau. However, in late May 2016, it visited Provence and attended appointments organized by Provence Promotion with stakeholders in the local ecosystem and possible future partners, which proved to be decisive.
"After meeting with CEA Tech, the Arbois platform and Team Henri Fabre, I became aware of the potential of this multi-sector region. I felt like Toulouse was too focused on aeronautics and that the Sarclay market was hard to access, so we ultimately went with Provence," says Cédric Etlicher.

It all happened very fast. In June the company met with the Ministries of the Economy and Foreign Trade (because the French site would serve as a platform for re-exporting to the countries of the European Union) as well as with the Ministry of Research, the General Directorate for Energy and Climate and the General Commission for Investments.

E-Fan 100 contract with Airbus

The newly formed company plans to have three collaborators in Marignane by the end of the year. "No European company has superconductivity expertise. Yet this technology is going to revolutionize the electricity grid and all forms of transportation, from trains to ships to airplanes. HTS 2G wires afford greater protection against short circuits and reduce transmission loss. In other words, they prevent blackouts," explains Cédric Etlicher. These extremely high stakes led the Moscow power company to sign a contract with SuperOx to stabilize electricity in the city. In addition, SuperOx just signed a three-year contract with Airbus to supply cables for the E-Fan 100 slated for 2030. Its light superconductors are perfect for aircraft and will enable power transmission aboard the hybrid planes of the future.
SuperOx was founded in 2006 by Andrey Vavilov and now has 45 employees in Russia and 5 employees in Japan who work to generate annual sales of €9 million.

What is superconductivity?
Superconductors are characterized by their lack of electrical resistance, which means there is zero energy loss. They transmit tremendous amounts of current in small sections and deliver 500 times more density than traditional conductors like copper and aluminum. These unique properties open the door to revolutionary applications and new prospects. HTS 2G wires bolster the effectiveness of magnetic equipment used in science and medicine and are helping create new electric propulsion systems for space.