Chapter 486: Exchange Of Technology
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
When Professor Keriber heard Lu Zhous sudden suggestion, he paused for a second.
Lu Zhou: I heard you guys shut down WEGA?
Keriber: A long time ago I think in 2013.
Lu Zhou: Then how is it doing now?
Neither good nor bad. Maybe well send it to a museum in twenty or thirty years Why?
Keriber was confused; he didnt know why Lu Zhou suddenly brought up WEGA.
Lu Zhou: Can you sell it to me?
Professor Keriber froze.
After a while, his lips slightly twitched.
WEGA? Are you joking?
Lu Zhou shook his head and said, Im not joking, Im being serious.
Keriber saw that Lu Zhou didnt seem like he was joking, so he smiled and said, We spent 800 million to build WEGA, and that was over a decade ago, before all the inflation. How much do you plan on spending?
Lu Zhou thought for a moment before he gave a number.
Is 500 million enough?
Dont even think about it. Thats impossible.
Even though Keriber was shocked that Lu Zhou was able to offer this much money, he didnt accept it because it wasnt just about the money.
An ITER game had been going on between technologically advanced and less technologically advanced countries. This game could be seen from the proportion of funds each country bore, the allocation of projects for the various national research institutes, and other external factors.
And most of the problems occurred in the exchange of technology.
These problems were inevitable. After all, ever since the latter part of the last century, the European Union and the European Community had spent countless amounts of money on the ITER project.
This meant that dominant countries hoped that weaker countries would contribute more funding to equally share the risks and costs and for their national research institutes to undertake more projects from the pool of research funds.
Meanwhile, the weaker countries hoped that dominant countries would exchange more technologies with them while also hoping to undertake more projects.
After all, no one wanted to be in second place. Everyone wanted to master the core technology of nuclear fusion. Otherwise, weaker countries would have no backbone when it came time to split the rewards.
Could money buy everything?
Not when there were prerequisites.
The WEGA device was a technological invention from the Max Planck Institute and the Helmholtz Association. They spent a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to complete this device. Under these circumstances, they obviously didnt want to sell it at such a cheap price.
Lu Zhou knew what Professor Keriber was thinking about, so he said, Its final destination is the museum anyway. You guys have already learned all you could from it. I am willing to pay 500 million to buy your results, and I might even be able to squeeze some juice out of it, also
Professor Keriber frowned and said, Also?
Lu Zhou paused for a second before he continued, If you give us the WEGA device, in return, I am willing to use the technology behind the SG-1 material as an exchange. Since we both need a more powerful superconducting magnet, we can totally cooperate for the research.
Keriber: WEGA is the prerequisite for our cooperation?
Yes. Lu Zhou nodded and said, If youre worried about your technology being bought at a cheap price, then we are willing to exchange it with our technology. If you dont want to, then we are not obligated to disclose our newest research. After all, this isnt an ITER outsourced research project. This is our own.
The theses on the SG-1 material were all available to the public; even the SG-1 laboratory preparation methods were public as well. Lu Zhou registered some patents in this area, just in case.
However, the method of turning SG-1 into an electrical wire was obviously part of the production process, which was not disclosed in the thesis.
This was just like the mask aligner machine; everyone knew the concept behind it and could download the relevant theses, but the technical parts were all enterprise secrets. They werent publicized.
Professor Keriber stared at the thin wire in the glass cover for a long time. He stayed silent for a while while he contemplated whether or not this proposal was worthwhile.
On one hand, it was the prototype for the Wendelstein 7-X. Even though it was retired, it still had a lot of undisclosed technology.
On the other hand, it was a carbon-based superconducting material that was likely one of the key factors for controllable nuclear fusion. However, that was only a possibility, and there were still many uncertainties such as cost and mass production.
This choice wasnt easy to make.
The German professor was silent for around five minutes. He finally relaxed before he said, I have to think about it.
Lu Zhou nodded and said, No problem.
The mansion in Zhongshan International was particularly lively as the family prepared for the Chinese New Year dinner together.
Suddenly, the doorbell rang.
Lu Bangguos face lit up; he quickly walked toward the door.
He opened the door.
Old Lu was ready to smile and greet the guest, but suddenly, his face stiffened.
Professor Keriber gave a friendly smile as he said in broken Chinese, Hello.
Old Lu subconsciously responded. He then snapped back to reality and immediately looked at Lu Zhou.
This is a guest from my research institute. Lu Zhou could tell what his father was thinking, so he smiled and said, Hes also my friend.
Even though he felt resentful toward his son, he couldnt show that resentment in front of a guest.
Old Lu looked at Professor Keriber and showed him a warm smile. Lu Zhous friend, please come in.
Even though Keriber couldnt understand Old Lus words, he could still sense the enthusiasm.
Keriber smile and politely replied in the only other Chinese word he knew.
When Xiao Tong saw her father bringing this tall foreign professor into the living room, she sneaked behind Lu Zhou and pulled her brothers arm. Brother, you have no idea how excited dad was in the afternoon.
Lu Zhou: Excited about what?
Xiao Tong was rendered speechless by his response. After a while, she said, What else? He thought you finally grew a brain and would bring a girlfriend home.
The little girl rolled her eyes and said, I knew that wasnt the case. Still, I didnt expect you to bring a guy home.
Lu Zhous family was hospitable, both on Chinese New Year and during normal days.
However, due to the language barrier, the conversation didnt flow so smoothly on the table.
Lu Zhou had to take on the role of a translator, switching from English to Chinese.
Occasionally, he even had to make some modifications due to the differences in the languages.
Keriber, who was usually a serious person, couldnt stop praising the dumplings. He even gave them a big thumbs-up.
When Lu Zhou translated his words into Chinese and told her mother, she was so happy she couldnt keep her mouth closed.
She had been cooking for many years, and this was the first time she was complimented by an international guest. For Fang Mei, this was undoubtedly a new kind of fulfillment.
Keriber didnt stay here for long. It was getting a bit late after dinner. He sat on the sofa and chatted with Lu Zhou for a bit before saying goodbye.
Lu Zhou showed Keriber the way out. When they stood outside the door, Keriber spoke.
The dumplings were delicious, thank you.
Lu Zhou smiled and said, Youre welcome.
Keriber thought for a bit and said, Regarding your proposal, I cant give you an immediate response as this isnt something I can decide on my own. And WEGA isnt solely the property of the Max Planck Institute, I hope you can understand.
He paused for a second before he continued, However, I can assure you I will try my best.
Lu Zhou smiled and said, Thank you so much.