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Distance No Barrier For Taranaki Company

A Taranaki educational resource developer, Curriculum Concepts, has just signed a deal that will push its traditional publishing through the technology barrier and expand its international reach.

Nine year old Curriculum Concepts produces over 1,000 titles of educational resource material from its New Plymouth base, selling to schools and homes mainly throughout New Zealand and, to a lesser extent, overseas.

The link with Learnova Publishing, a Wellington-based NetLogic Group 'Internet incubator' company specialising in international e-learning services, will allow Curriculum Concepts to reach new global markets, turning their mainly print-based products into electronic format for delivery through new channels including the Internet, wireless and broadcast services.

Hamish Clark, Learnova's Enterprise Leader, says the deal is a classic e-publishing partnership based on mutual success and royalty-based returns. "Curriculum Concepts is a proven education resource provider and its literacy and numeracy programmes are of real interest to us. Learnova's global focus and technological capabilities will combine well with Curriculum Concepts' expertise to fast-track into some of the lucrative and high growth international markets that they may have struggled to reach on their own."

"The company had pretty much hit capacity locally and would need either major investment or resources to increase its presence in the global market. They are passionate about their product, so this new relationship, where they can tap into our expertise in framework-driven learning systems and access global networks, is a real match."

The partnership deal follows a well-tested template whereby Learnova carries out international market research, establishes distribution channels, provides brand recognition and repackages selected learning programmes for electronic delivery, via CD/DVD/broadcast and the Internet. Distribution is managed through web-based e-commerce and fulfilment layers and all are referenced to CurriculumLink, Learnova's Internet-based subscriber service linking education content to regional curriculum.

Initial target markets will be Latin America and Asia/China, with research currently underway in Latin America to analyse which of Curriculum Concepts' programmes will best fit market needs. "It's likely," says Clark, "that English as a second language, for example, will be well received in Mexico which forms a large labour pool for the US."

Graeme Beals, Curriculum Concepts founder and director, says the deal with Learnova was inspired by the venture capital seminar run by Venture Taranaki. "I approached one of the presenters, John Cunningham, of Caltech Capital Partners, who referred me on to the NetLogic Group and it took off from there," he says. "Learnova was looking for a content company and we were looking for a technology partner, so it's a happy match."

Curriculum Concepts was named Innovative Business of the Year in the 1996 Taranaki Business Awards. Currently it has a staff of 13 based in New Plymouth, and agents throughout New Zealand.

-ends-

For more information: Ø Graeme Beals, 06 758 5865 xt 822, 06 758 9880 (a/hours) Ø Hamish Clark, 04 498 2255 xt 114, 021 668 254

Prepared for Learnova by Jan Sedgwick, Carrara Communications 09 579 7270

-- Carrara Communications Ltd Public Relations / Communications P O Box 128-183 Remuera, Auckland, NZ Tel: 64 9 579 7270. Fax 64 9 579 7807 mobile: 021 80 4749

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