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Winners of Westpac New Zealand Hi Tech Awards

Saturday 13 November 2004

Winners of Westpac New Zealand Hi Tech Awards

PayGlobal Limited of Auckland, a payroll and human resources software company, won the Supreme Award and became the Westpac Hi Tech Company of the Year at last night's Westpac New Zealand Hi Tech Awards, held at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington.

Donald Hastie, CEO of PayGlobal said that one of the company's major goals is to have PayGlobal behind every pay slip in the world. "That doesn't necessarily mean everyone will know it's PayGlobal - our technology could be re-branded a hundred different ways - it does mean our technology will be in use globally," Hastie said.

The Awards this year include the Supreme Award, three sector awards (software, electronics and biotechnology), five category awards and the Tait Electronics Flying Kiwi Award which went to Neville Jordan, who in 1997 became the first Kiwi to list his company on the US NASDAQ stock exchange. Neville joins the inaugural Flying Kiwi, Sir Angus Tait, in the New Zealand Hi Tech Hall of Fame.

The Awards were created 11 years ago to recognise New Zealand businesses that are leading their industries, both here and around the world. The Awards also acknowledge the people behind these companies who are working to build businesses around exciting new technologies.

Westpac's General Manager of Channel and Process Management, Phil Doak said in congratulating the winners that the awards were to celebrate the New Zealand companies operating at the leading-edge of technology and innovation.

"We are celebrating companies with vision, passion and a commitment to excellence. We are also celebrating success in a sector of the New Zealand economy that is growing rapidly in terms of its contribution to this country," Phil Doak said.

It was the second year in a row that PayGlobal stood out as a real achiever in the software category, said Selwyn Feary, chair of the Hi Tech Awards organising committee.

"PayGlobal was described as a clear winner in the software sector last year, and it continues to exhibit a clear market focus resulting in demonstrable growth and profitability. PayGlobal became a very worthy overall winner," Mr Feary said.

PayGlobal also won the Microsoft Software Company of the Year Award.

In congratulating PayGlobal, Microsoft New Zealand Managing Director Ross Peat said the prestigious Hi Tech award acknowledges PayGlobal's obvious talent and focused ambition to achieve success.

"PayGlobal is a company with real ambition, inspiration and innovation. Its commitment to its customers is demonstrated not only by outstanding innovation but also the degree to which the company stands behind its solution through globally respected certifications," says Peat.

The other Award winners were:

Proacta Therapeutics of Auckland who took the Crown Research Institutes' Biotechnology Company of the Year Award (highly commended in this sector was GlycoSyn Technologies of Wellington). Proacta Therapeutics has made a giant step in the treatment of cancer. Founding scientist, Bill Wilson of the Cancer Society Research Centre at the University of Auckland, says that the majority of people who are diagnosed with cancer each year have significant areas of cells which are deprived of oxygen in their tumours.

"The compounds Proacta has designed have the potential to attack these cancers and destroy the cancer cells while leaving the healthy tissues untouched. It has long been known that targeting hypoxic cells had the potential to make both chemotherapy and radiation treatment very much more effective, but to date treatments which effectively reached and destroyed hypoxic tumour cells have been illusive," Bill Wilson said.

Proacta was also highly commended in the Dynamic Contract Manufacturing Deal of the Year Award. The company has the potential to provide a new treatment for a large proportion of people with cancer, and has raised $8million from an international syndicate to help deliver on that possibility.

The Gallagher Group collected the Avnet Electronic Company of the Year Award (highly commended in this sector was DMC Stratex Networks of Lower Hutt). As the number-one electric fence manufacturer worldwide, The Gallagher Group is a well-known New Zealand company that has managed to position its brands as global leaders. The Gallagher Group comprises a number of companies centred around animal management and business security systems. It exports to over 130 countries through an established network of distribution channels. More than 70 percent of the company's revenue is from exported products.

There were also five category award winners:

Dynamic Contract Manufacturing Deal of the Year Award was collected by Whisper Tech of Christchurch. The company was also highly commended in the Most Innovative Product of the Year Award.

Whisper Tech has recently secured an agreement worth over NZ$300million to supply tens of thousand of its revolutionary 'personal power stations' to the United Kingdom. Given that clean and efficient generation of heat and electricity is a major issue worldwide, this can only be the beginning for its product WhisperGen, a unit that runs on natural gas and is designed for domestic installation. The size of a domestic dishwasher, the WhisperGen heats the house through a network of water-filled radiators and simultaneously generates electricity. In the United Kingdom any electricity not used by the householder is fed into the national grid and the householder is credited for surplus generation.

Highly commended in this sector were Proacta Therapeutics (see above) and Datamail.

Navman Emerging Company of the Year Award was taken by Aftermail of Auckland. AfterMail is an email archiving, retrieval and analysis solution which enables organisations to capture, store and report on email messages. In 2004 a typical corporate user receives an average of 99 emails per day, and sends approximately 34. That daily total represents an increase of 53 percent compared with 2003 figures. The email archiving space is one of the few current growth areas in IT as legislation in many countries place requirements on organisations with regard to the archiving and accessibility of information.

Highly commended were Emech Control and GlycoSyn Technologies.

Morel & Co High Growth Company of the Year Award was collected by Orcon Internet of Auckland. Over the past three years, Orcon has sustained a massive growth to become the country's fourth-largest ISP and the largest wholly New Zealand-owned-and-operated ISP. Having acquired 25 other Internet companies over the last 4 years, Orcon now seeks to rapidly grow its retail customer base for broadband and other services. The company is currently trialling wholesale broadband from Telecom and was first to market with a competitive offering to JetStream.

Highly commended were Interactive Technologies and MotorWeb Services.

Prolificx Marketer of the Year Award went to Emech Control of Auckland. Emech is the world's leading brand and industry standard solution in distributed precision temperature mixing and flow control. "The value of the water and actuator market is estimated at around $US3.5 billion per year," said Emech's CEO Marcel van Dijck. Having proved the value of Emech technology in New Zealand, the company developed a very well-targeted marketing strategy for US market entry and made its star product, a precision valve for mixing hot and cold water, an international money spinner.

Emech Control was also highly commended in Most Innovative Product Award and Emerging Company of the Year Award.

Precision NZ Most Innovative Product of the Year Award was won by Syft Technologies of Christchurch. Dubbed the 'super nose', Syft's device can detect tiny smells and flavours. It has applications for the military, border control, medicine, environmental monitoring, oil exploration and even leaky building syndrome. Syft's technology can smell trace amounts of volatile organic compounds or VOCs which are responsible for all smells and tastes. VOCs are produced by all living things, such as fungi, moulds and plants, and can also be found on the breath of humans. Syft's technology can detect and measure extremely low concentrations of these compounds in real time compared to other slower technologies.

The company was born out of the University of Canterbury, and acquired the University's SIFT-MS related IP, along with a small group of researchers, who form the core of its R&D team.

Highly commended in this category were Emech Control and Whisper Tech.

Adilam Young Achiever of the Year Award was collected by Seeby Woodhouse. Seeby (28) is the founder and managing director of Orcon Internet Limited, a privately-owned and operated New Zealand internet service provider (ISP). Seeby turned Orcon into the fourth-largest ISP in New Zealand with multi-million dollar annual revenue without any outside investment.

Highly commended were Callum Noon of DMC Stratex (NZ) and Greg Woolley of Certus Project Consulting.

Selwyn Feary said he was very heartened by the level of development this year.

"If these entries are anything to go by the New Zealand hi tech sector has even more companies that are taking products to the world. Our winners have certainly shown that despite New Zealand's size and distance from major markets we can compete globally," Selwyn Feary said.


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