British Columbia Discovery Fund (VCC) Inc.

British Columbia Discovery Fund (VCC) Inc.

September 19, 2011 15:56 ET

BC Discovery Fund portfolio company Tantalus Systems Announces Strategic Partnership with Itron to Deliver Cutting-Edge Smart Meter and Communications Solution

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 19, 2011) - British Columbia Discovery Fund (VCC) Inc. is pleased to announce that portfolio company Tantalus Systems Corp. has recently executed a strategic partnership agreement with Itron Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI) dedicated to delivering a wide range of smart metering and smart grid benefits to electric and multi-service public utilities. The commitment ensures that public utilities across North and Central America will be able to provide increased levels of customer service, greater service reliability, improved efficiency and access to usage information that smart metering delivers.

The collaboration will combine Itron's industry-leading Sentinel® and CENTRON™ electricity meters as well as its gas and water ERT modules together with Tantalus' comprehensive communications network, TUNet®, for a solution that is tailored specifically to the cooperative and public utility markets. Uniting TUNet with Itron's electricity meters will allow the companies to offer a solution that accommodates smart metering, demand response and distribution automation for these markets, which includes nearly 40 million electricity meters. Coupling the capabilities of Itron's advanced gas and water modules into this flexible communications platform will address the unique needs of combination utilities, which includes up to 20 million gas and water meters in this space, and it provides customers a cost-effective path to smart metering while utilizing previously deployed Itron ERT modules.

"Combining Itron's industry leadership and experience with our technology will unlock new possibilities for utilities. Together, we will leverage existing and future electric, gas and water metering endpoints to help public utilities make their grids smarter," said Eric Murray, Tantalus President and CEO. "This partnership also allows us to share the benefits of Itron's sales experience and distributor network, both of which are truly world-class."

"This is a milestone agreement that should further accelerate the growth at Tantalus," said John McEwen, portfolio manager for the Fund and Chairman of Tantalus. "Tantalus has developed into a large and growing BC technology business from which the Fund expects to realize significant value as financial markets improve."

About Tantalus

Tantalus provides two-way, real-time data communications networks to monitor and control electric, gas and water utilities. TUNet® – the Tantalus Utility Network – is an end-to-end WAN/LAN/HAN communications system that operates with 220 MHz RF, 900 MHz, and IP-based networks including Fiber, WiMAX and GPRS/cellular, either individually or in combination. TUNet's patented and patents pending technologies are purpose built for the Smart Grid. The Tantalus network unites a utility's applications, making advanced metering, outage management, power quality monitoring, load control, and distribution automation cost-effective and practical throughout both urban and rural service areas. For more information, please visit www.tantalus.com.

About Itron

Itron is the leading provider of energy and water resource management solutions for nearly 8,000 utilities around the world. Itron offers end-to-end solutions that include electricity, gas, water and heat measurement and control technology; communications systems; software; and professional services. With nearly 10,000 employees doing business in more than 130 countries, Itron empowers utilities to responsibly and efficiently manage energy and water resources. For more information, please visit www.itron.com.

About British Columbia Discovery Fund (VCC) Inc.

British Columbia Discovery Fund (VCC) Inc. was established to make venture capital investments in a portfolio of small businesses in British Columbia that qualify under the Small Business Venture Capital Act, focusing on all of B.C.'s top internationally recognized technology clusters; information technology (software and hardware), mobile technology (wireless and networking solutions), clean technology (alternative energy and energy-saving technology solutions), new media and health and life sciences.

Established in 2002 and managed by Discovery Capital Management Corp., the Fund is focussed on making diversified investments in British Columbia with the objectives of achieving long-term capital appreciation for its shareholders and contributing to the growth in value and employment of the technology industry in British Columbia. In addition to offering a means of participating in the potential of British Columbia's newest technology ventures, the Fund offers significant tax savings to eligible British Columbia individual and corporate investors. The Fund, which offers its shares on a continuous basis, has raised approximately $71 million to date and has investments in twelve developing technology companies. B.C. resident investors are entitled to receive a tax credit equal to 30% of the amount invested in Class A Shares of the Fund; Class B Shares of the Fund are not eligible for tax credits. To obtain further information about the Fund, please contact a registered advisor or visit www.sedar.com or www.bcdiscoveryfund.com.

John McEwen, CEO, B.C. Discovery Fund (VCC) Inc.

Harry Jaako, President, B.C. Discovery Fund (VCC) Inc.

This press release is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy common shares. This press release may include statements about expected future events and/or financial results that are forward-looking in nature and subject to risks and uncertainties. Specifically, there are no assurances that the Fund's portfolio companies will be successful or that there will be any capital appreciation from the portfolio companies of the Fund. The issuer cautions that actual performance, including the ability of the Fund to sell and redeem its securities or to realize on its portfolio investments, will be affected by a number of factors, many of which are beyond its control. Future events and results may vary substantially from what the issuer currently foresees.

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