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.
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.