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Award Win … 1

27 April 2005

Award Win … 1

The name HTS-110 (pronounced H-T-S-one-ten) may have you tripping on your tongue, but it’s a company that has just marked its success by winning ‘Start-up of the Year’ at last nights New Zealand Incubator Awards.

And CEO, Geoff Todd, says the win will help seal the company’s position as a key global player in what is a fast growing niche area.

“We feel delighted because it’s an acknowledgement that the HTS industry has real roots in New Zealand and we think it’s fantastic that this technology is being acknowledged.”

“HTS stands for high temperature superconductors and our superconductors start superconducting at 110 kelvin [about minus 170 degrees C]. While there’s lots of science behind it all – it involves conducting electricity without resistance which ultimately allows us to make more powerful and smaller magnets.

HTS-110 has only been operating for about a year and with the support of its shareholders (Endeavour Capital, American Superconducting Corporation and Industrial Research Ltd), it has exported all of its products. It has also established distribution partnerships with Japan and Korea.

Geoff Todd says their focus is on making high-field HTS magnets and components for companies in the scientific, defence and energy sectors. He says otherwise the world is their oyster in terms of future possibilities.

“We think that the opportunity for HTS magnets looks better every day. After just participating in Superconducting City at Hannovers massive industrial fair, that feeling was cemented.

“That’s in terms of what both HTS-110 can achieve and other NZ companies who want to get onboard. For example, there was particular interest in the area of transformers which is an HTS area currently being explored by Canterbury TX, plus there was interest in insulated wire, which Industrial Research is progressing.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement, yet to support an HTS industry in New Zealand, we also have to work on growing the infrastructure around it”.

An HTS consortium has been set up for exactly that reason and activities are being co-ordinated via regional economic development agency, Positively Wellington Business (PWB).

PWB’s Manufacturing Sector Manager Ron Daly is secretariat for the Consortium and he is working with representatives from four regions to identify further potential HTS products for commercialisation.

Ron Daly says the consortium has already enabled a number of companies to become involved in HTS projects and further expansion is expected.

“The HTS industry is certainly starting to gain momentum, and there are many exciting applications for this technology. It’s an industry that requires the sort of innovative, outside-the-square thinking Kiwis are famous for, and we’re confident it’s going to flourish,” he says.

ENDS

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