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New Appointments At Nano Cluster Devices Ltd

MEDIA RELEASE Wednesday 6 October 2004


New Appointments At Nano Cluster Devices Ltd

Some key appointments to an emerging Canterbury based technology company signal growing confidence in the potential for the technology to become a world leader.

Nano Cluster Devices Limited is a company formed to commercialise innovative and world-leading nanocluster deposition technology that has been developed by Dr Simon Brown and his team at the University of Canterbury.

The technology involves taking clusters of atoms and forming them into tiny electrically conducting wires. There are many existing and potential commercial applications for nanotechnology, which has been described as the industrial revolution of the 21st Century. The global market in nanotechnology is forecast to reach $US200 billion next year and $US1 trillion by 2015.

Chairman of the Board John Walley announced today that Canterbury technology entrepreneur Phil Holliday and private equity specialist Andrew Smith have accepted appointments to the Nano Cluster Devices Board. Dr Allan Miller, formerly of Allied Telesyn Research in Christchurch, has been appointed Chief Operating Officer.

Phil Holliday is well known in New Zealand as the founder of Holliday Electronics (later renamed Holliday Group), which he sold in 2000 to London-based iTouch. He remained as Managing Director of the company under its new ownership until earlier this year and remains a director of the company.

“I have spent my whole working life in the electronics industry, and the whole of that time has been characterised by a never-ending rapid growth fuelled by the continual development of smaller device geometries from which we can build more and more complex devices and products,” says Phil Holliday.

“Nanotechnology may well hold the key to continuing that growth curve and as such I am very excited to have the opportunity to take a governance role in, and apply my skills where appropriate, to a New Zealand company which is breaking new ground in this area.”

Andrew Smith is an investment specialist who moved to New Zealand earlier this year, and who brings a wealth of experience from his senior roles with venture capital and fund management businesses in Britain and Asia. Most recently he was a Regional Director of Prudential’s Asia-Pacific division and Managing Director of PPM Ventures (Asia) Limited, the regional arm of Prudential’s private equity investment operations.

“I welcome this opportunity to become part of a well-funded local company looking to explore a world-leading technology. A solid management team is now in place to develop the business on a global scale in the coming years,” says Andrew Smith.

“The Nano Cluster Devices Board now has the spread and depth of expertise needed for the company to take its very exciting technology further towards commercialisation,” says John Walley.

“I have been very encouraged to find the skills and talent needed on the Nano Cluster Devices Board from within Christchurch. When I began looking for people to complete the Board, I thought I might have to look further a field, or even overseas.”

The appointment of Dr Allan Miller as Chief Operating Officer of Nano Cluster Devices adds another strength to the company and raises the bar again.

Dr Allan Miller has a very solid technical and commercial background, including a PhD in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Canterbury (1989-1992).

“Allan is starting in early October, and will be responsible for building the operational capability of the company, as well as releasing Dr Simon Brown to focus on research and development,” says John Walley.

“Allan will be focused on developing understanding of the application space for nanocluster technology. He will also further refine, with the assistance and support of the Board, the company’s business plan.”

Most recently, Allan Miller was based in Christchurch where he worked for Allied Telesyn Research as General Manager Product Marketing – switches (July 2003 to September 2004). He led a team of product managers and analysts, responsible for Allied Telesyn’s Layer 3 switch products. Before that Allan was product manager for the same company (November 2001 to July 2003), responsible for identifying and developing new product ideas.

“Nanotechnology holds significant promise in a vast array of applications, from medicine to electronics, energy, and computing,” says Allan Miller.

“This is a unique opportunity to join the company in its early stages and make a significant contribution to it. Productizing and taking the early research, developed to date by Nano Cluster Devices, to the market will be both challenging and incredibly exciting, and this is one of the main reasons for me joining the company."

John Walley concludes New Zealand needs to build a wider economy on deep technological innovation.

“It is very exciting to be involved in the world-leading high-tech research being undertaken by Nano Cluster Devices. If we are able to successfully develop commercial nanocluster technology applications, we would expect the benefits to flow back into the local and national economy.”

ENDS

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