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Technology Relationship To Give Huge Boost To NZ

Orion New Zealand Limited

11 December 2001


Technology Relationship To Give Huge Boost To New Zealand


Christchurch-based Orion New Zealand will tonight sign an agreement in Tokyo with Toshiba International Corporation to market New Zealand-developed technologies to more than 3 billion people in the Asia-Pacific and India regions.

Orion New Zealand is a Christchurch-based electricity network company owned by three local authorities and has been successfully investing in technology companies for more than a decade.

Toshiba International Corporation is an operating group within Toshiba Corporation of Japan, one of the world’s largest companies with annual revenues of more than NZ$100 billion and a brand in the top 100 world-wide.

Orion New Zealand Chairman, Linda Constable, said today the relationship had the potential to generate tens of millions of dollars for New Zealand.

“Canterbury is increasingly recognised as New Zealand’s technology capital. New Zealand generates world class technologies, but we find it very difficult to market them globally because we lack large scale, cost-effective manufacturing facilities and distribution networks,” Ms Constable said.

“Orion and Toshiba International Corporation will form the Toshiba/Orion Innovation Engine as a joint business development group. Orion will gain a strong relationship with a respected international company, access to large-scale manufacturing, marketing and distribution networks, global credibility and a partner to work with in the innovation and incubator areas.

“This is one of the most exciting and far-reaching developments for Orion since it started funding, nurturing, mentoring and assisting the development of technologies more than a decade ago. Orion has a substantial portfolio of technology investments which complement its core business of owning and managing an electricity network. With the signing of this agreement it now has an international partner to realise the full potential of these investments.”

Ms Constable said Toshiba International Corporation would concentrate its first sales and marketing efforts in the Asia-Pacific and India regions where it has many regional offices serving a population of more than 3 billion. Staff had already been appointed to market New Zealand products in some areas.

“Senior Toshiba people from both Australia and Japan have visited Canterbury, evaluated our technologies, seen the evidence of New Zealand’s tremendous creativity and innovation and they are very excited about the future.

“This agreement gives an enormous boost to New Zealand’s role as a world-class technology incubator, researching and inventing products. It is estimated that with this international help, what in the past has taken us 10 years will now take less than three. The agreement may also include future exchanges between Orion and Toshiba engineering graduates.”

The first companies to benefit from the formation of the relationship include CIC Global, WhisperTech, TransFlux, and Energetics Australia.


Ends

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