The BC Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology made a special stop at a local high-tech manufacturing company Saturday afternoon to offer congratulations after the Nelson-based company recently won a $1 Million USD contract to develop and test an ion source system.
Minister Bruce Ralston toured the D-Pace facility on Front Street in the Corner Brick Building.
“In my mind, it’s the commitment it’s taken, and continues to take for over 25 years . . . that’s a remarkable focus,” said Minister Ralston said, speaking with founder Morgan Dehnel during the tour of the Nelson-based tech manufacturing company.
Also present for the tour was Port Moody MLA and Parliamentary Secretary for Technology Rick Glumac, Cam Whitehead of KAST and Danika Hammond, Executive Assistant to the Honourable Michelle Mungall, Nelson-Creston MLA and BC Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.
Ralston was impressed with the determination of Dehnel and D-Pace, which started more than two decades ago, and has grown to a staff of more than 15 fulltime staff as well as a handful of freelancers and as many as 165 clients around the world.
“It’s people like you that make companies like this successful,” Ralston said about Dehnel & Company. “You have a burning desire to move forward.”
The contract was won in collaboration with with Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ion Technology Co., Ltd. of Japan.
D-Pace founder Dehnel said the project was facilitated by excellent work from Hakuto Co., Ltd., D-Pace’s Japanese representatives.
“I’m pleased to say that D-Pace is moving towards our vision and aspirations of not only providing consulting services and individual devices for the particle accelerator market but providing complete systems that have a much higher dollar value,” Dr. Dehnel, D-Pace’s Chief Science & Innovation Officer said.
“With this recent contract win, D-Pace is now entering our next phase of much larger projects.”
The new contract comes after more than two decades of experience in the particle accelerator marketplace.
Founded in 1995 by Dehnel after receiving his Ph.D in Physics from University of BC, D-Pace has grown into a company that is now able to win contracts for turn-key ion source systems.
The rise of DPace is partly due to the company gaining capital through direct foreign investment — D-Pace is 50% owned by Buckley Systems Ltd after the New Zealand company came on board in 2014 — intensive technical publication of innovations and developing an Ion Source Test Facility with several Ph.D. projects.
Dehnel said the partnership with Buckley Systems Ltd Has opened many doors for D-Pace.
“(Buckley Systems Ltd) hasn’t been some corporate company seen in movies that comes in quite arrogant, they’ve been very friendly . . . and got us into two board meetings we would never have been invited,” said Dehnel.
“And it’s win-win for both companies,” Dehnel added. “There’s lots of information we’re feeding back to Buckley Systems Ltd and similarly they’re providing us with good ideas.”
Dehnel said D-Pace is an excellent example of tech companies growing and thriving in the Kootenays, working globally from small-town British Columbia.
D-Pace wishes to acknowledge the various local, provincial, and federal government agencies that have helped it along the way, including: KAST, Community Futures, Basin Business Advisors, Export Navigator, City of Nelson, BDC, NRC-IRAP, WED, NSERC, EDC, and SRED.
The D-Pace Team, which operates in its facility on Front Street in the Corner Brick Building.— Submitted