web analytics

New Zealand Superconductors

Written By: - Date published: 8:10 am, September 8th, 2021 - 18 comments
Categories: Economy, tech industry, uncategorized - Tags:

Just to note a little sadness at the sale of New Zealand’s High Temperature Superconductor business out of Scott Technology (a robotics specialist company based in Dunedin sold to a Brazilian meat company a few years back).

It’s gone to a limited partnership comprised of a number of local investors including New Zealand Investment Fund Booster Tahi LP, VC Fund, Matu and Donald Pooke the CEO of HTS-110.

Booster Managing Director Allan Yeo commented on the purchase from Scott:

We’re pleased to add HTS-11- to our portfolio. We established Tahi to connect New Zealanders with investments in Kiwi companies, and this investment is a unique opportunity for our investors to be part of the future growth story that HTS-110 represents.”

What HTS-110 hasn’t done is score itself decent-sized clients or customers.

We’re going to have to replace most of our pylons and wire in a decade, we’re electrifying more of the North Island rail line, we’ve just finished upgrading the high capacity lines through Cook Straight. And each of the big wind farms coming on stream certainly could do with some help connecting to the national grid.

Clearly HTS is too expensive for the locals.

Not to mention the huge growth in MAGLEV tracks across China and Japan that are already underway.

And all those new reactors and power stations needing first-kilometer efficiency from heat loss.

So it hasn’t scored anything there either.

It is a development to get a little melancholic over because this ought to have been one of those great commercialisation stories coming out of the Crown Owned entity HTS. It certainly had plenty of boosters.

Innovation that starts off with Crown funding sometimes but rarely gets to do something magnificent for New Zealand.

Crown-funded innovation that generates something that the world needs, at the right time, is even harder to find.

(sigh. Navman).

I wish them well, but simply chucking to the venture capitalists and not embedding them in a large company that can use them is a very, very high risk trajectory. I sincerely with their new owners well.

18 comments on “New Zealand Superconductors ”

  1. Gosman 1

    Why would anyone be sad with a commercial transaction involving private businesses? If people want something to happen that isn't they should get together with like minded individuals and buy the business themselves.

    • Ad 1.1

      Several tens of public funding millions went into the innovations, and they were hothoused for years within state research institutions to enable them to be commercialised.

      So the answer to your question depends if you want state assistance to get New Zealand out of a low-wage, low-productivity, low-savings, low-innovation society.

      • bwaghorn 1.1.1

        Gossies an actiod isnt he?, so the government spending tax payers money so rich people can scoop up the spoils and run to the hills is his belief system!!

        • Tricledrown

          Very few companies start or survive without govt support or tax breaks.

          NZ relying on farming which gets $100's of millions in research and development where we should have been diversifying for the last 60 years .

          The boat building business has got some size,the film industry,videogames,,software all helped by govt investment.

          As we have seen since the GFC property has got a lot of the private funding as private funders don't like risk. They would rather ride the speculative wave.

      • Gosman 1.1.2

        This highlights why that sort of funding is a waste of taxpayers money.

      • Gabby 1.1.3

        You'd think some kind of repayment scheme could be built in, and passed on to any new owner.

        • Incognito

          The nascent NZ R&D sector relies heavily on Government grants and less so on tax incentives and Government loan schemes that may have to be paid back upon sale.

        • Tricledrown

          Yes the money for the sale ends up in NZ.

    • Tricledrown 1.2

      Gosman.Name a country or trading block where govts don't give financial support to develop new businesses.let alone existing businesses.

      • Gosman 1.2.1

        That does not mean that is a good use of taxpayers money.

        • Ad

          Especially when the innovation works and yet is discounted every time it changes hands. And somehow it's only foreign sharemarkets that tend to benefit. Witness RocketLab's NASDAQ listing recently. Hence the melancholic note.

          Even when domiciled here, there's a massive history of the state propping up failure on a large scale, such as the bailout of NZSteel back in 1986, or more recently South Canterbury Finance a decade ago.

          NZVIF (a branch of MBIE) is about the right place for state involvement at the bleeding edge of high technology commercial risks.

          • Tricledrown

            Ad Bungling Blinglish forgot to sign the insurance policy sitting on his desk for 6 week's. Costing tax payers $1.2 billion.Rocket Lab has local investors but the US defence dept was a 40% initial investor looking for cheaper launches for its military satellites. NZ steel every country subsidize's its steel industry eventually countries like South Korea out subsidized every country till China outdid them now India is out doing China.there is a point where a small country like NZ has to cut its losses and focus on things we do well.

            • Ad

              We do a lot more things well than you are implying.

              Until Xena Warrior Princess we didn't have a film industry in Auckland or NZ.

              Until our first America's Cup win we didn't really have a high end marine research industry.

              Until Jade got cracking we didn't have a decent sized software industry.

              Until Montana cracked the big time our entire wine industry was a joke.

              Until we started being ambitious for conservation here, we didn't have the techniques or technology to rebuild the biosphere of entire islands.

              It is certainly the job of our universities and polytechs and of governments to help us be ambitious.

          • Stuart Munro

            SCF was just National party troughing – they fed on it like a privatized state asset, doing Hubbard to death like Stalin did the Kulaks – extrajudicially, and for private advantage.

        • Tricledrown

          Doing nothing would mean our economy would be left behind ,farming would be unprofitable ,we wouldn't have a burgeoning film industry,our boat building industries would still only be worth millions instead of billions.Electricity would be in short supply,our roading networks wouldn't exist.Our education system would mean an unskilled workforce.

          Utopic ideology doesn't exist neither pure communism or the pure free market do not exist those who believe are on the fringes of society.people who think only in logic have very low emotional IQ's and are easily lead into cults.

          The best run economies in the world with the least inequality benefiting the majority of it's people have a balanced economy.

          The only reason ACT's popularity has gone up is because they have moderated their fundamentalist economic utopic ideology and Nationals unpopularity.

        • Stuart Munro

          It is not "taxpayers money", but citizens' money.

        • Tricledrown

          Gosman while every other economy we trade with pumps billions into their R and D you want to put NZ into an economic straight jacket your policies reflect on you.

          Economic lunacy.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Battle of Ohaeawai remembered
    A memorial event at a key battle site in the New Zealand land wars is an important event to mark the progress in relations between Māori and the Crown as we head towards Waitangi Day, Minister for Te Arawhiti Kelvin Davis said. The Battle of Ohaeawai in June 1845 saw ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • More Police deployed to the frontline
    More Police officers are being deployed to the frontline with the graduation of 54 new constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. The graduation ceremony for Recruit Wing 362 at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua was the first official event for Stuart Nash since his reappointment as Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Further support for upper North Island regions hit by significant weather
    The Government is unlocking an additional $700,000 in support for regions that have been badly hit by the recent flooding and storm damage in the upper North Island. “We’re supporting the response and recovery of Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel, Northland, and Bay of Plenty regions, through activating Enhanced Taskforce Green to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • The Princess Royal to visit New Zealand
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has welcomed the announcement that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, will visit New Zealand this month. “Princess Anne is travelling to Aotearoa at the request of the NZ Army’s Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals, of which she is Colonel in Chief, to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Government and horticulture sector target $12b in exports by 2035
    A new Government and industry strategy launched today has its sights on growing the value of New Zealand’s horticultural production to $12 billion by 2035, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “Our food and fibre exports are vital to New Zealand’s economic security. We’re focussed on long-term strategies that build on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Cost of living support extended for families and businesses
    25 cents per litre petrol excise duty cut extended to 30 June 2023 – reducing an average 60 litre tank of petrol by $17.25 Road User Charge discount will be re-introduced and continue through until 30 June Half price public transport fares extended to the end of June 2023 saving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More Kiwis in work as rising wages match inflation
    The strong economy has attracted more people into the workforce, with a record number of New Zealanders in paid work and wages rising to help with cost of living pressures. “The Government’s economic plan is delivering on more better-paid jobs, growing wages and creating more opportunities for more New Zealanders,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government boosts fund for Auckland flooding
    The Government is providing a further $1 million to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced today. “Cabinet today agreed that, given the severity of the event, a further $1 million contribution be made. Cabinet wishes to be proactive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Cabinet focused on bread and butter issues
    The new Cabinet will be focused on core bread and butter issues like the cost of living, education, health, housing and keeping communities and businesses safe, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “We need a greater focus on what’s in front of New Zealanders right now. The new Cabinet line ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister to meet with PM Albanese
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins will travel to Canberra next week for an in person meeting with Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. “The trans-Tasman relationship is New Zealand’s closest and most important, and it was crucial to me that my first overseas trip as Prime Minister was to Australia,” Chris Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government makes first payment to Auckland Flooding fund
    The Government is providing establishment funding of $100,000 to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced. “We moved quickly to make available this funding to support Aucklanders while the full extent of the damage is being assessed,” Kieran McAnulty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government steps up to assist Auckland during flooding
    As the Mayor of Auckland has announced a state of emergency, the Government, through NEMA, is able to step up support for those affected by flooding in Auckland. “I’d urge people to follow the advice of authorities and check Auckland Emergency Management for the latest information. As always, the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Titewhai Te Huia Hinewhare Harawira
    Ka papā te whatitiri, Hikohiko ana te uira, wāhi rua mai ana rā runga mai o Huruiki maunga Kua hinga te māreikura o te Nota, a Titewhai Harawira Nā reira, e te kahurangi, takoto, e moe Ka mōwai koa a Whakapara, kua uhia te Tai Tokerau e te kapua pōuri ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved following Cyclone Hale
    Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development and Employment, has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to flooding and damaged caused by Cyclone Hale in the Tairāwhiti region. Up to $500,000 will be made available to employ job seekers to support the clean-up. We are still investigating whether other parts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • General Election to be held on 14 October 2023
    The 2023 General Election will be held on Saturday 14 October 2023, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “Announcing the election date early in the year provides New Zealanders with certainty and has become the practice of this Government and the previous one, and I believe is best practice,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces resignation
    Jacinda Ardern has announced she will step down as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. Her resignation will take effect on the appointment of a new Prime Minister. A caucus vote to elect a new Party Leader will occur in 3 days’ time on Sunday the 22nd of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Trade and Agriculture Minister to attend World Economic Forum and Global Forum for Food and Agricult...
    The Government is maintaining its strong trade focus in 2023 with Trade and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor visiting Europe this week to discuss the role of agricultural trade in climate change and food security, WTO reform and New Zealand agricultural innovation. Damien O’Connor will travel tomorrow to Switzerland to attend the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government funding relief for flood-affected Wairarapa farmers and growers
    The Government has extended its medium-scale classification of Cyclone Hale to the Wairarapa after assessing storm damage to the eastern coastline of the region. “We’re making up to $80,000 available to the East Coast Rural Support Trust to help farmers and growers recover from the significant damage in the region,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago