Main Content

ATS's Photowatt Technologies signs letter of intent to jointly develop Spheral Solar(TM) Technology

January 11, 2007 | General
TSX: ATA

CAMBRIDGE, ON, Jan. 11 /CNW/ - ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. today announced that its subsidiary, Photowatt Technologies Inc., has signed a non-binding letter of intent to enter into a business relationship with Clean Venture 21 Corporation ("CV21") of Kyoto, Japan and Fujipream Corporation ("Fujipream") of Hyogo, Japan, in order to advance the development of its Spheral Solar(TM) Technology.

The goal of this proposed relationship is to share the significant technology, knowledge and expertise of each of the parties in sphere-based solar technologies which Photowatt believes may reduce the substantial development risk and time to market for commercialization of sphere-based solar technology.

The letter of intent envisions Photowatt and CV21 cross-licensing certain intellectual property to each other, including rights to manufacture and sell sphere-based solar cells and modules. Under the letter of intent, it is intended that Photowatt will initially supply CV21 with silicon spheres manufactured in its Cambridge, Ontario facility and CV21, in conjunction with Fujipream, will use these spheres to manufacture sphere-based solar cells and modules. It is contemplated that Photowatt will have the option to purchase up to 50% of the resulting output of solar cells and modules for the purposes of either selling or incorporating into its own building integrated photovoltaic products.

The three companies also intend to work together to identify and secure additional sources of silicon. The companies intend to enter into a definitive agreement as soon as practical, subject to the completion of due diligence and the receipt of certain approvals.

About Clean Venture 21 Corporation
Clean Venture 21 Corporation, founded in 2001, is a privately held solar company dedicated to the development, production and sales of spherical Si solar cells. CV21 opened its first production facility in 2006 in Kyoto. CV21 entered into an exclusive sale agreement with Fujipream Corporation in December 2005. For more information, visit www.cv21.co.jp.

About Fujipream Corporation
Fujipream Corporation was founded in 1982 and is traded on the Tokyo JASDAQ Securities Exchange ticker 4237. Fujipream Corporation operates three business divisions. The Clean Eco Energy division is engaged in the manufacture and sale of solar cell modules, mainly for large-sized buildings, as well as solar power generation systems, solar-powered emergency exit lighting and light-emitting diode lighting, film laminated glass, heat insulating glass and others. The Flat Panel Display division manufactures and sells optical filters for plasma display panels, liquid crystal display polarizing plate films and direct filters. The Mecha Technology division designs, manufactures and sells industrial wrapping and packing systems to the pharmaceutical and food industries, among others. For more information, visit www.fujipream.co.jp.

About ATS
ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. provides innovative, custom designed, built and installed manufacturing solutions to many of the world's most successful companies. Founded in 1978, ATS uses its industry-leading knowledge and global capabilities to serve the sophisticated automation systems' needs of multinational customers in healthcare, computer/electronics, automotive and consumer products. Through its solar business, ATS participates in the rapidly-growing solar energy industry. It also leverages its many years of repetitive manufacturing experience and skills to produce, in high volume, precision components and subassemblies and to answer the specialized repetitive equipment manufacturing requirements of customers. ATS employs approximately 3,600 people at 26 manufacturing facilities in Canada, the United States, Europe, southeast Asia and China. The Company's shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA. Visit the Company's website at www.atsautomation.com.

Note to Readers
Certain statements in this press release contain forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws ("forward-looking statements"). Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of ATS, or developments in ATS's business or in its industry, to differ materially from the anticipated results, performance, achievements or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include all disclosure regarding possible events, conditions or results of operations that is based on assumptions about future economic conditions and courses of action. Forward-looking statements may also include, without limitation, any statement relating to future events, conditions or circumstances. ATS cautions you not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, Photowatt entering into a definitive agreement with CV21 and Fujipream, potential for reduction in development risk and time to market, Photowatt purchasing solar cells and modules and Photowatt either selling or incorporating solar cells into its own building integrated photovoltaic products, and securing sources of silicon. The risks and uncertainties that may affect forward-looking statements include, among others, Photowatt, CV21 and Fujipream not being able to reach a definitive agreement on commercially reasonable terms; the failure to obtain any approvals required as a precondition to entering into such a definitive agreement; risks involved in successfully developing and commercializing sphere-based solar technology on a cost-effective basis, including whether or not technical solutions exist, are available, can be discovered, and are economically feasible, and potential delays in finding technical solutions; ability to achieve lower silicon usage relative to conventional solar technology, the cost and availability of silicon powder and fines and other raw materials and certain specialized manufacturing tools and fixtures used in the production of sphere-based solar products; the extent of market demand for sphere-based solar products such as those contemplated by this relationship; the availability of government subsidies for solar products; the development of superior or alternative technologies to those developed by ATS; the success of competitors with greater capital and resources in exploiting their technology and marketing their products; and other risks detailed from time to time in ATS's filings with Canadian provincial securities regulators, including ATS's Annual Report and Annual Information Form for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions, and ATS does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements should assumptions related to these plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions change.

%SEDAR: 00002017E

For further information:
Carl Galloway, Vice President and Treasurer
Gerry Beard, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
(519) 653-6500