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April 26. 2013 10:55PM

Nashua's QMagicQ honored for business innovation


Jason Bundas of QMagicQ in Nashua shows off an infrared camera to Gov. Maggie Hassan and New Hampshire's former congressman, Paul Hodes. (BENJAMIN C. KLEIN/Union Leader Correspondent)
NASHUA - Gov. Maggie Hassan visited QMagicQ with former Congressman Paul Hodes on Friday to honor the company for its innovation and to spotlight government investment in private industry.

QMagicQ develops technology for infrared camera equipment that can be applied to locating gas leaks or missile defense systems. While the business does have commercial customers, QMagicQ CEO and President Mani Sundaram said that 50 percent of the company's revenue comes from government research contracts.

"I have been visiting innovative businesses throughout New Hampshire since I was elected, and it is important that we know what allows a business like this to be successful. I am also interested in the public/private partnership part of (QMagicQ)," Hassan said.

Hassan added that in the current economy there is a great coming together of public and private interests, and if done correctly the partnership can expand the tax base while at the same time build and expand the local and national economy.

Sundaram explained that by taking government research contracts, the government has received applicable infrared technology for things like satellite imaging, security and missile defense that is far more valuable than what it paid.

"QMagicQ represents a new paradigm for public/private partnerships, showing how taxpayer money can be used to leverage new possibilities. They have been able to partner with government-funded entities that have helped them along the way, and that is the model for the 21st century," Hodes said.

Hodes, who now sits as the president of the Economic Innovation Institute and Action Fund, an advocacy group designed to promote economic growth and innovation, presented Sundaram with the Institute's first Commitment to Innovation Award to highlight a company that he said has not only grown since being started 10 years ago, but has developed technology that is superior to that of much larger and better-funded companies.

To help illustrate that point, Jason Bundas of QMagicQ showed Hassan and Hodes video of a rocket blasting off into space carrying a satellite with infrared technology that the company helped develop.

"We were competing against some very big companies, and we developed the most efficient technology," Bundas said.

Hodes and Hassan agreed that QMagicQ also represents the embodiment of the American dream.

"Mani came to this country from India for a post-graduate degree, ended up staying, working his way through the corporate culture, and then started his own company. It is a quintessential American story," Hodes said.

Being based in Nashua brings many advantages, Sundaram said, since this area of the country represents what he called, "the infrared corridor."

He explained that from New Hampshire to Massachusetts, there are several companies that work to develop infrared technology, bringing not only business partners, but also suppliers and clients.

"And being in a state with no income tax helps to," Sundaram said.

bklein@newstote.com