TTP specialises in helping companies improve their innovation and technology management processes. If a firm is loaded with in-house R&D which it needs to translate more effectively into commercially viable products, or needs to adapt existing products to new markets, TTP will help. Founded in 1987 by a group of 20, mainly engineers, who contributed £700,000 of their own funds to start-up, the company now employs over 300 mechanical, software, and electrical engineers at its Hertfordshire and Guildford sites. Over the years, TTP has developed products as varied as machines that automatically grow chicken pox vaccines for pharmaceutical giant Merck to toy digital cameras for Fisher Price. Profits have risen by 76% pa, from £1.9m in 1996 to £10.2m in 1999, while sales increased by just 15% pa in the same period to £36.9m. Finance director Ian Sutherland attributes the company’s success to its ability to “spot technological fields with very high growth potential”. In 1999 it set up a £50m venture capital fund backed by NPM Capital of the Netherlands to invest in European high-tech start-up firms.
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