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Hot Stuff Company Innovation Helped By R&D Funds

MEDIA RELEASE

14 March 2002

Hot Stuff Company Innovation Helped By R&D Funds

A focus on innovation, which opened up new high growth export markets, has won a Wellington engineering company an Export Award.

Windsor Engineering Group's award-winning achievement was helped by its success in attracting Government funding for research and development, with a $100,000 grant through Technology New Zealand's Grants for Private Sector Research and Development (GPSRD) scheme. The funding assisted the company's on-going research into a continuous drying kiln as well as developing leading edge technology into steaming logs for peeling.

"The research we've done into peeling technology has meant a big change for the wood veneer industry. The logs peel better so there is less reject peeled product and the resulting plywood glues better," says Windsor Engineering's product development manager, Tony Pepperell.

"Most of that product is exported, and we see big potential for the company in following logs to their destination and selling our log conditioning chambers there as well."

Mr Pepperell says without the Technology New Zealand funding, the company would have struggled with the innovation, and that funding has helped develop products that in turn have developed new markets.

Together with three other partners, Windsor Engineering has also been involved in developing a joint-venture border biosecurity product which uses kiln heating to disinfest imported vehicles from environmental threats such as the Asian Gypsy Moth, in a project also part-funded through Technology New Zealand.

Mr Pepperell says the export potential arising from the company's R&D is limitless.

"Essentially R&D has helped us grow from a small engineering company, open up export markets with our technology and boost our staffing to around 100 people," he says. "We have around 80% of the New Zealand kiln market and that accounts for nearly ¾ of our production. We're notching up some good export successes with sales into Australia, Chile, South Africa and most recently, in North America, China and Korea."

Windsor Engineering has an international reputation for timber drying technology, and is this country's market leader in kiln manufacture.

John Gibson, at the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, which administers the Technology New Zealand scheme, says there is still funding available to help businesses who want to grow through innovation.

"We're looking for the sort of company which is technologically savvy, and understands the technology their business needs to the stage of 'knowing what they don't know. Technology New Zealand has around $35million available in funding each year, and we're always very keen to look at more applications."

-ends-

For more information:

a.. Tony Pepperell, Windsor Engineering Group, 04 232 8080 b.. John Gibson, Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, 04 917 7863 or 0800 832 469. www.technz.co.nz

Prepared for Technology New Zealand by Carrara Communications ( 09 579 7270)

Backgrounder Grants for Private Sector R&D

Ø This is the newest scheme run under the Technology New Zealand umbrella.

Ø The aim is to increase the level of private sector R&D expenditure.

Ø Grants are targeted specifically to technologically aware SMEs (usually less than $50m turnover).

Ø Support is up to 33.3% of R&D costs, to a maximum of $100,000, for qualifying projects.

Ø Latest figures show that around $1.5m per month is being invested in private sector R&D projects by GPSRD.

Ø The scheme has allocated over $23.6 million to 399 companies, since it was launched in September 2000

Ø GPSRD is the first of the Technology New Zealand schemes to operate exclusively via the Internet, with initial registration through its website, www.technz.co.nz

Ø Information on Technology New Zealand's complete funding schemes is on www.technz.co.nz

mailto: jsedgwick@carrara.co.nz Jan Sedgwick 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 . After hours mobile 025 80 4749

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