UL spin out company Powervation acquired in cash deal

Leader Reporters

Reporter:

Leader Reporters

NUJ call: the union has called on UL to withdraw legal proceedings entered in the High Court against the Limerick Leader. Below, Seamus Dooley of the NUJ
A COMPANY that originated in the University of Limerick has been acquired in a €64m cash deal.

A COMPANY that originated in the University of Limerick has been acquired in a €64m cash deal.

Powervation - now a Cork-based designer and producer of ultra energy-saving computer chips - was established based on research undertaken by Dr Karl Rinne and Dr Eamonn O’Malley, Circuits and Systems Research Centre, UL. It has been sold to Japanese electronic parts manufacturer ROHM for about $70m (€64m) in an all-cash deal.

Since its founding in Ireland in 2006, as a UL spin-out, Powervation has established itself as a leading innovator in digital power controllers serving high performance computing, cloud and communications infrastructure markets.

Dr Rinne and Dr O’Malley - then a research student for the former - were key to establishing the business, which enables companies to improve energy efficiency of their information processing equipment.

Dr Mary Shire, vice president of research in UL, said “successful industry collaboration and knowledge transfer is part of our DNA here in UL.

“We have long had a track-record of delivering excellence research with impact that leads to high value spin-out companies, with global reach and Powervation is another great example of such a success story,” she added.

The Powervation team have been successful since 2006 in raising additional funding to further their research and development efforts which has been backed by leading investors - SEP, Intel Capital, VentureTech Alliance, Braemar Energy Ventures, 4thLevel Ventures, Enterprise Ireland and Semtech Corporation.

Powervation will become a fully owned subsidiary of ROHM, with principal design center in Cork and system application centers in San Jose, CA and Asia which fuse expertise in power systems, digital control, silicon and embedded software.

Paul Dillon, Director, Technology Transfer in UL, said the University was “again delighted to be associated with an acquisition of this scale which is a vindication of the many years effort by the research team within UL and the Powervation team after they spun out.

“The ecosystem of commercialisation and innovation expertise and supports in UL, such as the Nexus Innovation Centre and our focus on enterprise engagement, have played an important role in creating an environment which supports large-scale spin-out activity of this nature.

“This announcement adds to the list of recent successes in the space such as Stokes Bio and Crescent Diagnostics,” he added.