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Innovators Awards: Health and science winner, Magritek

WINNER - Health and science

Who: Magritek Ltd

What: Compact, portable magnetic resonance spectrometers and magnet resonance imaging (MRI) scanners

Why you should care: A super high-tech business, Magritek exports its products all over the world, selling to a niche market – higher education, research, industry – and bringing profits back home.

Magritek was founded back in 2004, owing a lot to the internationally renowned research skills of a team led by Professor Sir Paul Callaghan. What it does is based on magnetic resonance: using radio waves to interrogate atomic nuclei, which in turn provide information about molecular structure and material composition. It’s a method of non-destructive imaging, and you’ve probably heard of its use in the medical world in the form of MRI scanning.

Its main international customers are the petroleum service and analysis sector, petrochemical industries, and research laboratories. Since 2004, the company has pioneered a host of new products, grown to 21 staff and has export values of around $3 million annually. It’s the robustness, cost-effectiveness and portability of Magritek’s products that give it an edge in the market.

The business is led by chief executive Dr Andrew Coy and under his watch has won a number of awards, including Emerging Gold at the 2007 Wellington Business Gold Awards, Emerging Exporter of the Year at the 2008 Wellington Export Awards, and the Prime Minister's Science Prize in 2010.

Magritek started out with a capital injection of just $300,000, but now has assets of over $2 million and a company equity value of around $10 million. The company is set on a rapid growth path, with a goal to achieve $50 million in annual sales within eightyears. Magritek has forged new international partnerships and attracted fresh investment from London and New York.