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Case Study: Export Success with Advanced Manufacturing Technology
October 26, 2017 Tatiana Bertolo, Office of Small Business

A fascination was spurred during graduate school on the study of magnetic resonance imaging, which led Mr. Dave Walsh, CEO of Vista Clara, Inc., to pursue this newfound passion with the establishment of his company.

Now in operation for nearly 20 years, this exporter is a market leader in the manufacture of geophysical instruments for groundwater investigation.  The nuclear magnetic resonance technology employed by these devices is similar to that leveraged in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment.  Vista Clara, Inc.’s instrumentation detects water in the ground, localizes it and assesses the water content for various applications.


The path to exporting appeared in the company’s infancy.  Vista Clara, Inc. developed a prototype and demonstrated that it worked to its first prospective buyer, which was also located in Germany.  This first meeting secured a promise from the potential foreign buyer to purchase the product once it was proven to be commercialized.  Thereafter, the product was patented, and Vista began its manufacture for world-wide distribution. EXIM Bank was just a short arm’s length away and Vista learned that EXIM Bank could help secure exports early on using the multi-buyer short-term credit insurance product.


Today the company realizes export sales in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Germany, and India.  On average, over the past five years, approximately 35% of sales are export-related.

Dave Walsh emphasizes that, “The most important thing, the export insurance product almost entirely mitigates risk for selling to foreign buyers.  We have insurance against nonpayment.”  The rental and services use of his company’s measurement devices overseas yield substantial export activity and are also insured through EXIM’s export credit insurance.  Without the use of EXIM’s credit insurance, his firm would be less competitive in the U.S. as well.  Expansion overseas translates into a new level of robustness here at home.

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