AN award-winning technology firm is aiming to open up fresh opportunities with new products being developed for the high-value research and development market.
Jordan Valley Semi-Conductors, an Israeli business with its UK headquarters in Belmont Business Park, Durham, supplies X-ray metrology tools for use in the semiconductor and LED markets.
The majority of its products are sold to the Far East but it is also looking at Western markets.
Paul Ryan, UK site manager and corporate vice-president, said the company’s exports make up more than 90% of its sales and are mostly to China.
“Last year, probably around 70% went to China but this year it has been a little less,” he said.
“That is where a lot of the LED manufacturers are based. It is always going to be important as long as they keep production there.
In addition Jordan sells to Taiwan, India, the US, Canada, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. Europe is its smallest market but Ryan said he was looking at increasing sales there.
“I would encourage anyone who has an international product to look everywhere. To be honest, it is just as hard to export to America as it is China.
“Although we share a common language, with the US you still need to have the same licences and be paid through international banks.”
Jordan has 26 staff in Durham, which is the company’s only UK site, and it is looking to recruit a few more in the near future.
The company is aiming to make more high-value products for its newer markets.
Ryan said: “What we’re doing is launching a new product which is much more of a research and development platform. R&D needs a higher-value products for markets like the US.
“These are higher-value products rather than the low-cost ones used in mass production in China.”
The firm, which bought Durham University spin-out X-ray company Bede from administration in 2008, won the Expanded Horizons category at the North East Exporters Awards 2012 for identifying new markets and securing new business.
In the same week, one of its products was judged best new product at the annual Semicon West exhibition in San Francisco, the microelectronics industry’s flagship annual event.
UK Trade & Investment’s Geoff Young and Dr Zhengming Yang, China team business development manager, worked with Jordan Valley on its export strategy.