Farnborough-based nanotechnology company Intrinsiq Materials has told Insider of its plan to expand overseas by setting up a production site in the US. It comes after the business won the Emerging & Nano Technology category in the Business Innovation Awards 2010 for its copper ink formula product.
The copper ink product came out of top after being described as "lower-cost" and "more productive" while it "reduces the use of toxic chemicals".
Sales and marketing director Ian Clark told Insider the new plant in Rochester, New York, would enable it to increase capacity in one of its biggest markets. Staff are being hired to arrange the refurb and equipping of the premises, and production is due to start next year.
As the US business expands, it is hoped the plant will eventually employ about 150 people – growing the overall business from the current 35 staff.
Intrinsiq already has an office in the US and supplies customers around the world, but this will be its first production facility outside the UK.
The multimillion-pound investment for the expansion is expected to result in a “significant” increase in turnover to accompany the growth in capacity.
Meanwhile, winning the innovation award, said Clark, had been “welcome validation from people we respect that we are on the right track”.
Achieving innovation was not a case of scientists sitting in isolation in a lab, he told Insider. “That approach rarely works. Doing something just because you can doesn't make it commercially viable. A lot of what we do is identifying trends in what customers are asking for, and then using our expertise to overcome the technical obstacles to meeting those demands.”
Intrinsiq was one of three South East companies that won the top prizes in the Business Innovation Awards.
Romsey-based PhotonStar LED won the Energy & Environment award in the event, organised by UK Trade & Investment, with its ultra-efficient Smart LED light fittings. They provide 70 per cent additional savings by maximising daylight and minimising artificial light.
And AEP Networks of Ascot took the Digital Connected World award with Auto Sky Roaming, an online roaming device enabling ships, trains and aeroplanes to have reliable, easy access without any service loss.
Business and enterprise minister Mark Prisk said: “The winners demonstrate why Britain is a world leader in research and innovation. It is the high-tech industries that are the future of the British economy, helping to providing the highly skilled, well-paid jobs we need.”
The UK’s ICT sector directly employs about 1m people and accounts for some 27 per cent of UK jobs and nearly eight per cent of GDP.