16/07/2008 - 22:00

Antaria sets up for fresh start

16/07/2008 - 22:00

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Experienced engineer Bruce Cameron is hoping his commercial skills will help turn around the fortunes of struggling technology company Antaria Ltd, which this month adopted a new name to signify a fresh start and change of focus.

FRESH START: Antaria executive chairman Bruce Cameron said a new name signifies a change of focus for the company. Photo: Grant Currall

Experienced engineer Bruce Cameron is hoping his commercial skills will help turn around the fortunes of struggling technology company Antaria Ltd, which this month adopted a new name to signify a fresh start and change of focus.

Formerly known as Advanced Nanotechnology Ltd, the company had high hopes of international success after it was spun out of the University of Western Australia and listed on the stock market in 2005.

It gained plenty of publicity through its involvement in sunscreen products promoted by model Megan Gale, but to date has achieved only modest sales from a wide range of personal care and industrial applications.

Mr Cameron said Antaria must now focus on finding the right markets for its products, in an effort to deliver profits to its shareholders.

"Sometimes when companies come out of academic backgrounds the research concept is the be all and end all, but at the end of the day shareholders want commercial reality," Mr Cameron said.

"We've got the product ideas and we need to take those from the ideas stage, through to being a commercially viable product that makes revenue and earns the shareholders profit."

Mr Cameron, who joined the company in 2006 as a non-executive director and became executive chairman in April this year, wants to bring a new perspective to the business.

"I want to bring a fresh focus to the whole process of how we're commercialising the original concepts and some of the newer concepts we've got available to us," Mr Cameron said.

"It's like every business, it needs to evolve...the board and I discussed my role as setting a slightly different management style and setting up a different organisational structure."

Mr Cameron, who is co-founder and managing director of Canning Vale-based Camco Engineering, said he has begun to scale back his involvement with the engineering company, and is looking forward to the challenges associated with Antaria.

"At Camco we're implementing a succession strategy...so my role there is more and more becoming one of a mentor," Mr Cameron said.

"It's very refreshing for me. I've got the ability to mentor and shape a management team here that will see this company succeed in the future."

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