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: Since the discovery of superconductivity with trans1tton temperatures above 77 K, concentrated research activities toward the exploration of practical applicaÂ tions of these materials have been carried out. Currently, a remarkable improveÂ ment in superconducting properties has been achieved due to the fine optimization of fabrication processes, and this has attracted industrial interest for future applications. In the case of NdBa Cu 0 materials, a new pinning mechaÂ 2 3 7 nism was found which enhances the critical current under applied magnetic fields. In single crystals of these materials, oxygen control results in an increase in the growth rate. The metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) film quality has been improved by using a new liquid raw material. Simultaneously, real demands from the viewpoint of the market start to be a motivation force, esÂ pecially in electronics application where some products are already being sold. At the same time, interesting physical properlies have been obtained from a new superconducting single crystal which has a layered perovskite structure without copper. In addition, various precision measurement techniques have confirmed the d-wave mechanism and the existence of intrinsicJosephson junctions in single crystals. These new phenomena challenge the existing theoretical models but also open the way for new applications. These significant areas of progress in materials science have led high-Tc superÂ conductivity research into the next phase of activity, while fundamental research continues to be very important. I sincerely hope that this volume will give further impetus to this development.