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Top scientist's $40 billion pep talk

01 Dec 2011

From its Auckland head office, Endace has built a $US38 million business selling network security and monitoring technology to global customers including major telecommunications companies.

Network speed and reliability are vital in the telco service provider space, which is one reason Endace has targeted the sector as part of its global expansion. It has also made impressive inroads into two other sectors: government security agencies and financial services firms.

Last night, the company’s founder and chairman, Ian Graham, was among technology leaders honoured at the annual Engineering Excellence Awards. Dr Graham was named engineering entrepreneur of the year for his work growing Endace, which now employs more than 170 staff.

At the ceremony, keynote speaker Sir Paul Callaghan said technology businesses will play a vital role in helping New Zealand achieve the $40 billion of additional annual exports required to reach the level of prosperity kiwis are seeking.

Sir Paul, a renowned scientist and recipient of the 2011 New Zealander of the Year award, said New Zealand’s technology-led export success would come from growing niche global markets.

There were already encouraging examples of high-growth tech companies achieving success, he said.

According to the annual TIN100 survey, kiwi technology companies are already earning $5 billion of export receipts, and those international sales are growing at 5% per annum, much faster than the wider economy.

"In about 10 or15 years the technology sector will export more than the dairy industry,” he said.

Sir Paul has been putting his money where his mouth is, heading up a niche technology company, Magritek, which sells specialist imaging equipment to the international petroleum exploration industry.

Another telecommunications business pioneer, Neville Jordan, was also honoured at the awards, winning the William Pickering Award for engineering leadership.

Jordan founded microwave telco business MAS Technology which grew its annual revenues to $100 million and was the first New Zealand company to list on the Nasdaq exchange in the US.

It’s great to see leaders like Jordan and Graham recognised; technology is New Zealand’s economic future, and pioneers like these are the perfect role models for inspiring young kiwis to think big.

Image source here.