ATP Innovations congratulates incubator alumnus Lithicon AS on its sale to FEI.


ATP Innovations, Australia’s leading technology startup incubator, congratulates Lithicon AS on its $US 68million sale to FEI, a world leader in imaging technology for a range of markets, including oil and gas exploration. Lithicon was formed through the merger in 2013 of Canberra-based Digitalcore and the Norwegian company Numerical Rocks. Digitalcore, a spinout of the Australian National University (ANU) and The University of New South Wales (UNSW) and alumnus of the ATP Innovations incubator, has been building a global rock analysis business based on digital imaging technologies developed at ANU and UNSW since 2009.

Lithicon’s exit comes three months after ATP Innovations portfolio company, Azalient, was acquired by multi-national software corporation Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK).

“It is very satisfying to see such success for the Lithicon team. It’s a great example of how great technology from ANU and UNSW can be transformed into a global business. This highlights the strength and depth of the technology coming from our research sector and further demonstrates that technology transfer and commercialisation is going from strength to strength in Australia. It’s great that ATP Innovations was able to support the company on its journey to success,” said Hamish Hawthorn, CEO of ATP Innovations.

Digitalcore, was originally set up in 2009 by ANU scientists in collaboration with colleagues at UNSW to develop an advanced computational approach to rapidly solving fluid behaviour in oil reservoirs. The basis of this approach is a revolutionary high-resolution 3D imaging technique.

“The Lithicon story is one of taking world-class research from two of Australia’s best universities and turning it into a growing business. In the process we have created a whole new industry segment based on high-value, intensive, knowledge-based services. It’s exactly the sort of thing we should be doing in Australia and we need more of it,” said Lithicon General Manager, Dr Victor Pantano.

“The deal proves that Australian universities can grow a start-up company and work cooperatively with industry to build a successful business,” Professor Michael Cardew-Hall, ANU Pro-Vice Chancellor of Innovation and Advancement and Director of Lithicon AS.

“The deal also delivers a healthy return to private and corporate investors, and Lithicon’s Norwegian partners.”

About ATP Innovations

ATP Innovations, Australia’s most successful technology incubator, was established by the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, the Australian National University and the University of Technology Sydney to enable the accelerated growth of Australian start-ups and multiply their chances of success.  Today it is home to over 60 technology based start-ups, employing more than 400 people. The portfolio have raised $113 million from private investors since 2006 and 8 of it’s businesses have exited through either trade sale or IPO.

About Lithicon AS

Lithicon is the leading provider of Digital Rock Technology – an emerging technology driven by rapid advances in 3D pore scale imaging and computation. Lithicon’s technology enables an unprecedented quantitative understanding of reservoir systems at the pore-scale where all processes operate. Complementing and enhancing conventional Core Analysis techniques, Lithicon’s technology is emerging as a building block in reservoir evaluation and characterisation, development optimisation and performance predictions.

About FEI

FEI Company (Nasdaq: FEIC) designs, manufactures and supports a broad range of high-performance microscopy workflow solutions that provide images and answers at the micro-, nano- and picometer scales. Its innovation and leadership enable customers in industry and science to increase productivity and make breakthrough discoveries. Headquartered in Hillsboro, Ore., USA, FEI has over 2,600 employees and sales and service operations in more than 50 countries around the world.

For further information, contact:
T: +612 9209 4444


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