Home Deals Space-Time Research falls into foreign ownership

Space-Time Research falls into foreign ownership

Australia has lost another of its IT companies with the acquisition of Melbourne-based Space-Time Research by Japan's WingArc1st.

Space-Time Research has been in business for decades, supplying analytics and visualisation software to organisations including the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Cancer Council Victoria, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (Saudi Arabia), Statistics South Africa, Tourism Australia, the UK Department of Work and Pensions, the UK Office of National Statistics, the US Census, and the Victorian Department of Transport.

The company had its roots in the University of Melbourne. The Department of Geography's Jack Massey and Baillieu Library information services librarian Jeff Leeuwenburg created a system called Supermap that enabled the production of colour maps of virtually any combination of social data in Australia. Supermap eventually "graduated" and Massey and Leeuwenburg formed Space-Time Research.

Tokyo-based WingArc1st is a supplier of business intelligence and enterprise analytics software with more than 6000 BI customers in Japan.

Its MotionBoard product is a cloud-based BI dashboard bringing data together to help uncover business insights.

WingArc1st plans to use Space-Time Research's experience of the Australian and overseas markets to accelerate its global expansion.

"We are excited to be working with the team from Space-Time Research and believe this strategic acquisition strongly positions us to deliver a new standard in BI solutions to customers across Australia and beyond," said WingArc1st president and chief executive Hiroyuki Uchino.

Space-Time Research chief executive Steven Hulse said: "This deal is a real win-win. Our experience in the world of government and statistical data makes for a natural complementary fit with WingArc1st's solutions for the corporate BI sector."

"Our existing customers will get the same service as always, but now with the backing of WingArc1st's resources and development team we will be better equipped than ever before to deliver innovative data solutions for both government and private enterprises."

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Disclosure: In the course of his employment at the University of Melbourne in the 1980s, the writer provided Massey with some minor technical advice related to the Supermap project.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.