|Electricity-saving nano startup moves to UK/JH Lee/iCurie/AirNatech|
By Andrew Murray-Watson
The Independent on Sunday
Dec. 18, 2006 -- A start-up nanotech company, which has secured $250 million in funding commitments and promises to significantly cut the world's energy usage, is to set up its global headquarters in the UK.
AirNatech, which has developed a technology to cut electricity usage in heating, ventilation and air conditioning units by at least 50 per cent, is establishing itself in Cambridge.
The company's backers claim that AirNatech could have a market capitalization of more than $1 billion by the end of next year and will create more than 100 high-skilled jobs in the UK. AirNatech was created from the merger of UK-based Air-Nacon and NIL Technology of Denmark and is backed by Bridgehead Group, a U.S. boutique investment bank.
The company decided to move to the UK after meetings with officials from the UK Trade and Investment's Global Entrepreneur Program, a body set up by the government to attract hi-tech companies to the country.
AirNatech's nanotechnology works by making heat exchangers, such as those found in air conditioning units, significantly more efficient. The company claims that its specially engineered copper is 40 times more effective at transferring heat than conventional materials.
The technology was originally created by J. H. Lee, a former NASA scientist who helped develop the powerless cooling technology in the U.S. space shuttle.
Eric van der Kleij, the British government's senior global deal-maker, said: "We believe that emerging technologies that work towards conserving energy should be supported by government. The harnessing of these complementary technologies which are being acquired by Air-Natech will act as a catalyst towards commercialization."
(c) 2006 The Independent on Sunday. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All Rights Reserved.
Revolutionary nano-scale super-cooling technology to get global rollout from UK
This was published: 2004-04-16 11:00:00
A former NASA scientist and his team will bring their revolutionary new nano-scale, super-cooling technology to the world - from a UK base.
The patented, environment-friendly system is expected to have a major global impact on a range of everyday applications - ranging from air conditioning to increasing computer speeds.
After award-winning work on two space shuttle missions with NASA, former Samsung scientist Dr Jeong Hyun Lee created and patented the breakthrough cooling technology - initially to address the development-hindering problem of semiconductor cooling. The radical cooling technology is unique in that it does not require fans, pumps, dangerous gases or electricity to be effective. The system has been initially applied to semiconductor cooling in overcoming one of the biggest barriers in developing faster computer speeds - heat. However Dr Lee and his team believe the technology could eventually reduce the size and running cost of air conditioning by around 70%.
In a landmark deal that was assisted by UK Trade & Investment, iCurie Lab Holdings Ltd. has attracted significant series A investment from specialist US Emerging-Technology finance organisation Hansen Gray & Company Inc. (OTC: HGCI), to establish the worldwide headquarters in the UK. The new company also hopes to create hundreds of new jobs in the UK nanotechnology sector.
Curie's CEO, Dr J H Lee said: "The world has only recently started to understand the true impact of current cooling methods which can often consume a significant amount of energy or use chemicals which could endanger the environment. We wanted to provide our solution to the problem as efficiently as possible from a global-rollout perspective. We found that the UK offers the ideal financial, technical and corporate environment from which to grow a major global business."
Mark E Gray, Chief Executive of Hansen Gray & Company Inc, said: "We could not be more pleased to have completed the iCurie agreement, and our special thanks goes to the British Government's Global Entrepreneur Programme and their crucial support. We believe in world-class management teams, as well as businesses with the potential for sustainable growth based on quality and innovation in the value chain, versus ones that compete solely on price. We were very impressed with Dr Lee and iCurie's underlying innovations which embody all of these qualities, when properly supported in the right funding and development environment."
William Pedder, head of UKTI's Inward Investment team said: "This important agreement represents a double-win for the UK, by attracting both word class scientists and intellectual property in iCurie Labs, as well as significant inward-investment finance from Hansen Gray & Company to the UK. We are delighted that the strengths of the UK have once again been recognised as one of the most favourable locations in the world for a establishing disruptive, knowledge-based global business."
iCurie and Hansen Gray were provided with assistance and resources of UKTI's Global Entrepreneur Programme, crucial information on key strategic funding sources, as well as professional advice from PricewaterhouseCoopers on the most efficient corporate structure to create, protect, and develop a new major global business.
Background information on this article:
UK Trade & Investment is the government organisation that provides integrated support services for UK companies engaged in overseas trade and foreign businesses focused on the UK as an inward investment location. It brings together the work of teams in 200 British embassies and FCO posts overseas and government departments across Whitehall. In England, UK Trade & Investment services are delivered through the 45 Business Links and other partners including Regional Development Agencies and Chambers of Commerce, coordinated by nine regional International Trade Directors. The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own arrangements for local delivery of services. UK Trade & Investment's work ensures UK and overseas companies benefit from the organisation's continuing commitment to provide an integrated service, delivering business opportunities through a global network. For more information visit the web site www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk
The UK Global Entrepreneur Programme is a specialist team created within UK Trade & Investment. Comprised of successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists known as "Dealmakers", the team use their extensive networks and experience to identify and attract the highest calibre flow of "People and Ideas of Exceptional Potential" to the UK.
AirNatech Holdings Ltd. Establishes in the UK a Major Environmental Nanotechnology Win for UK Trade and Investment
Monday November 6, 8:15 am ET
UKTI's Global Entrepreneur Program and US Bridgehead Group collaborate to create AirNatech Holdings Ltd. in the UK, immediately securing a seven figure investment in NIL Technologies of Denmark. This move marks phase two of the group's global strategy of becoming a worldwide leader in ultra-efficient Nano-technology powered refrigeration, renewables, and related industries such as solar and fuel cells.
LONDON and NEW YORK, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Bridgehead Group (http://www.bhgltd.com ), the international business strategy, venture capital and investment banking organization based in New York City, has recently acquired a major stake in NIL Technology ApS, a Danish Nanotechnology company which pioneered Electron-lithography techniques for reliably creating nanostructures & imprint services -- much needed to develop the next generation of ultra energy-efficient refrigeration and computing technologies. The move follows Bridgehead's financing in February 2006 of AirNacon Ltd., which will also become a subsidiary of AirNatech Holdings Ltd. With the assistance of UK Trade & Investment's (UKTI) Global Entrepreneurs Programme (GEP), Bridgehead Group now has organized its operations including AirNacon Ltd. and NIL Technologies within a single UK-based holding company called AirNatech Holdings Ltd.
London based AirNatech will finance, structure, control and grow its global operations in the air conditioning, refrigeration, and related nano-technology industries. AirNatech and its partners provide companies and technologies with excellent growth potential and a holistic support system that enables synergy between the companies, traction with strategic partners, employee participation, exit strategies, and access to innovation coupled with protection of intellectual property at early stages. The principal objective of the group is to facilitate but professionally manage billion-dollar industry super-growth, by deploying experienced management together with extraordinary industry innovation.
The UKTI GEP helped Bridgehead Group in many aspects of planning, structuring and financing for AirNatech to become a British headquartered company. GEP Dealmaker Eric Van der Kleij aided Bridgehead by providing key information about the benefits of a UK holding structure. Bridgehead's relationship with Mr. Van der Kleij began around three years ago when he helped Bridgehead's CEO Jeppe Hansen acquire a stake in iCurie, now Celsia Inc. The GEP will continue to assist the AirNatech team as it executes the next phases of its $250M financing and commercial growth plans.
UKTI created the GEP to attract talent, finance, and take advantage of the unique strategic benefits of the UK as a global headquarters for major new businesses. The GEP utilizes a network of proven successful entrepreneurs or "Dealmakers," such as Eric Van der Kleij, who provide information and guidance on every aspect of setting up a new venture in the UK. "We are very pleased to have helped Bridgehead form a cohesive and pioneering global technology group that that will create substantial value for all the components by capitalizing on the synergies between them," said Derek Goodwin, Head of Global Entrepreneurs Programme. "We believe that emerging technologies, especially those that are working towards advanced ways to conserve energy, should be supported by governments. They are a crucial part of the future that we are pleased to be supporting."
Mr. van der Kleij commented, "I have enjoyed working with Bridgehead at every stage of the process. They are an exciting organisation, always at the forefront of technological and commercial innovation. The recent creation of AirNatech proves once again that their sophisticated and effective mentorship of global entrepreneurial innovation is instrumental in helping a start-up company to become a global success in its field."
Mr. Jeppe Hansen, Chairman of AirNatech and Chief Executive Officer of Bridgehead remarked, "Bridgehead is extremely grateful for the support of UKTI. They have consistently provided us with exemplary assistance and guidance, and their support and experience enables us to gain far more commercial and investment traction than a purely private company. Basing this global group in London will provide numerous advantages that other countries cannot offer, such as a superior strategic global reach and more favorable protection of the group's intellectual property."
About The Global Entrepreneurs Programme
UK Trade & Investment launched the Global Entrepreneurs Programme (GEP) in 2003 as a new approach to economic development. The GEP champions new business ideas by bringing together entrepreneurs and those who can best guide them towards success in the UK. Experienced Dealmakers act as a liaison between the government and entrepreneurs. For more information visit the GEP website at entrepreneurs.gov.uk .
UK Trade & Investment is the government organization that provides integrated support services for UK companies engaged in overseas trade, and foreign businesses focused on the UK as an inward investment location. For more information visit the web site at uktradeinvest.gov.uk .
About NIL Technologies
NIL Technology ApS is a nanotechnology company pioneering electron lithography to deliver consistent quality nano-imprint services and stamps required to unlock the next generation of refrigeration, fuel cell, microprocessor, and optical equipment. nilt.com
About Bridgehead Group
Integrating the key components of capital creation and business management into a seamless system is the cutting edge concept of Bridgehead Group. The Bridgehead Group Business System combines industry leading strategic partners, investment funds and business management into a powerful new strategy that minimizes risk, increases speed to market and maximizes return for breakthrough ventures across the globe. bhgltd.com