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Ulster University and Innovation Ulster Limited (IUL) have welcomed the acquisition of its former portfolio company BittWare by a leading global manufacturer of electronic solutions, Molex.

Kenneth Adamson, an academic in Ulster University’s School of Computing, originally started software development company EZ-DSP in 1989 to specialise in digital signal processing.

He raised funding of £1.25m from Enterprise Equity and the Viridian Growth Fund with further grant support from Invest NI also providing aid in the region of £95,000.

EZ-DSP developed a strong client base including several international blue-chip customers before being acquired by BittWare in 2004.

BittWare has been designing and delivering high-end solutions for over twenty-five years. Headquartered in Concord, New Hampshire, BittWare provides solutions based on FPGA technology from Intel and Xilinx. Many of the world’s leading companies use its products to provide the processing power for demanding applications in data centre, military and aerospace, government and financial services.

With a presence in more than 40 countries, Molex offers a full suite of solutions and services for many markets, including data communications, consumer electronics, medical, industrial, automotive, and commercial vehicle. The company announced it has acquired BittWare for an undisclosed sum.

Commenting on the acquisition Kenneth Adamson said:

“The historical support of Ulster University, private investors, venture capital funds and Invest NI helped set the wheels in motion for this ultimate acquisition. Although the market is difficult for start-ups in the ICT sector, there are still opportunities for ambitious companies to achieve high growth with patience and hard work and by utilising the connections available in Northern Ireland.”

Innovation Ulster Limited (IUL) is a wholly owned knowledge and technology venturing company of Ulster University which works closely with external companies to access a portfolio of technologies and early stage concepts. It also supports the commercial advancement of new inventions developed by academic staff and students.

Fergus Begley, Start Up manager with Ulster’s Research & Impact team, and Innovation Ulster Limited (IUL), said:

“We have a strong and varied portfolio of companies which often take time to grow and evolve. This is a fantastic example of how an academic has chosen to remain in his role at the university while also utilising the support of IUL to enable what long ago started as his company to grow and ultimately be acquired by a larger entity."

Mr Begley added:

“This announcement follows closely behind the purchase of Intelesens, another Ulster University spin out which was acquired at the end of last year. We anticipate that there will be more announcements of this nature in the coming months."