Soprano Selected To Attend European Trade Mission

Ten high-tech companies from across Australia have won a once in a lifetime trip to Europe as part of Austrade’s Euro High Tech Tour Competition.

The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) and the competition’s founding partners Sun Microsystems and Nextec Strategic Capital today announced the final 10 winners from a field of nearly 100.

Austrade Senior Trade Commissioner, High Tech Europe, Alison McGuigan-Lewis said Sun Microsystems, Nextec and Austrade have joined forces to provide this opportunity for emerging Australian ICT companies.

“These 10 companies will have the chance to gain first hand knowledge of European high tech industry trends, make connections with senior business and technology figures and companies, gain an understanding of critical market success factors, and attain access to venture capitalists across Europe,” she said.

The Euro High Tech Tour Competition will take 10 of Australia’s hottest high-tech companies on an 8-day visit to London, Frankfurt and Stockholm from November 5-14, 2001.

The 10 winners are:

  • Braintree Communications (QLD)
  • Catalyst Interactive (ACT)
  • Emagine International (NSW)
  • Foursticks (SA)
  • Future Fibre Technologies (VIC)
  • Haliplex (VIC)
  • Mediaware Solutions (ACT)
  • Retriever Communications (NSW)
  • Sigtec Navigation (ACT)
  • Soprano Design (NSW)

“As much of the industry is turning to Europe we thought it was the ideal time to send 10 of our finest to this growing and powerful market,” Ms McGuigan-Lewis said.

Jim Hassell, Managing Director of Sun Microsystems Australia, believes the Euro High Tech Tour offers Australian companies the ideal opportunity to gain a foothold in the competitive global market.

“As a global company, Sun recognises the value in broadening the scope of opportunity by growing outside a local market. Sun is proud of its association with the Tour and welcomes it as a means of helping new Australian technology companies achieve their goals in a rapidly evolving global IT environment,” said Mr Hassell.

“Sun continues to tackle many industry issues – such as the IT skills gap – and fosters support of initiatives such as these that boost the Australian IT environment. Sun congratulates the ten winners and believes that these companies provide an excellent snapshot of the depth and breadth of emerging IT talent and skills in Australia.”

Sun has been an active member of the Australian Partnerships for Export Development program since 1989, during which time it has exceeded investment expectations by providing over AUD$74 million in investment capital to Australian IT companies. This has delivered support to over 100 software developers.

While in Europe, the winners will visit the Sun Wireless Centre of Excellence in Stockholm, a purpose-built competency centre where Sun and partner wireless initiatives are engineered, built and integrated. They will also visit Sun’s customers and partners, including Nokia and Ericsson.

Nextec Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Richard Llewellyn said Nextec was delighted to apply its 102 analysis tool in support of Austrade’s Euro High Tech Tour.

“The technology investment market correction has focused attention on ways of better assessing emerging technology companies,” Mr Llewellyn said.

“In response to this requirement, Nextec is now licensing its proprietary methodology for use by other organisations.

“The 102 analysis tool provides empirical measurement of many of the more subjective but critical elements of an emerging company including: the real scale of the market opportunity, the capacity of the management team to execute, the sustainable competitive advantages of the technologies and products, and the strength of their business marketing and distribution model,” Mr Llewellyn said.

For more information about the Sun Wireless Centre of Excellence, please see