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Govt venture capital helps high tech Hutt firm

22 June 2006

Govt venture capital helps high tech Hutt firm

A Lower Hutt technology firm HTS-110 Ltd is experiencing international success, assisted by government venture capital funding, Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

Trevor Mallard today visited the company HTS-110 that was formed in 2004 to capitalise on the world-leading research into high temperature superconductor (HTS) material carried out by Industrial Research Ltd (IRL), a Crown Research Institute.

"The Labour-led government is proud to get behind a local company exporting leading-edge technology. We've done so through significant research funding and also more recently at the start-up phase through the Venture Investment Fund.

“HTS-110 has also received significant support from the Venture Investment Fund (VIF) through venture capital manager Endeavour Capital. VIF is a government scheme targeting innovative New Zealand firms in their early stages of development.

"VIF received a $60 million boost in the budget to help more young kiwi firms achieve global success, reflecting the Labour-led government’s commitment to working with businesses to develop a high-value, high wage, export-led economy.

“The government recognises there is a need for capital and expertise boosts for firms like HTS-110, which is leading the way in high temperature superconductor technology.

“In its two years of operation, HTS-110 has developed products for customers in the United States, Japan, Europe, Taiwan and Korea. Earlier this year, the company also entered a partnership with US-based Progression Inc to provide buyers with HTS magnet capability."

HTS-110 has grown from three people to 10 since its formation, and has grown annual revenue to $1.7 million. Atypically for a new start-up business, it expects to break even this year. It expects to be employing more than 50 people in five years time with an income of around $70 million.

The company is also developing a cluster of local businesses with which it is working to supply its specialist, high value products to international markets.

The Foundation for Research and Science and Technology (FRST) has supported IRL superconductivity research with approximately $30 million in funding over 15 years. Approximately $2 million of this has gone specifically to HTS-110, and FRST has committed another $1 million to the company in the next two years.

HTS-110 was named “Start-up of the Year” at the 2005 New Zealand Incubator Awards and was a finalist in the Wellington Regional Gold Awards in the emerging gold category. HTS-110’s products are used by the energy, science, medical, defence, transport and industrial markets. The company’s staff are experts in superconducting systems design and materials science.

ENDS

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