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Tasmanian R&D projects offered $890,000 in Start grants and loans



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Auslndustry - 12 May 1999 Media Release: Industry Research & Development Board Page 1 o f 2

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12 May 1999 Media Release: Industry Research & Development Board 12 May 1999

Tasmanian R&D projects offered $890,000 in START grants and loans 99/131

Four innovative Tasmania businesses have been offered research and development assistance totalling more than $890,000 for their projects in the latest round of Federal Government R&D Start grants and loans approved by the Industry Research and Development Board. The chairman of the Board, Professor Don Anderson meets with the Premier, Jim Bacon, today to discuss innovation in the State and the role of Federal Government support for R&D.

Professor Anderson said the Federal Government was committed to supporting innovation as part of the push to build a strong economy and to foster jobs growth.

"Innovation and R&D are key elements for Australia to maintain its international competitiveness. We must encourage business to perform R&D and, equally as important, we must see that the products of that R&D get to the marketplace," Professor Anderson said.

'Tasmania’s expertise in R&D is commendable. Tasmania is developing a growing reputation for producing quality exports. This is also shown by the quality and range of projects and businesses that have been offered R&D Start assistance over the years. The Board

appreciates the commitment and investment of Tasmanian businesses in R&D. Our mission is to increase the level and commercial success of industry-based R&D in Australia. We are achieving this through the various programs administered through Auslndustry, the central business point for R&D assistance."

The four projects which received grant and loan offers are:

Muir Engineering Pty Ltd - to develop a range of small to medium size winches with free-fall capability which lets the winches free-wheel, allowing automatic and rapid pay­ out of the anchor and chain, which can be stopped and then started at any stage of the fall - $242,225. [Company contact: Mrs Alex Johnston, (03) 6229 5188]

Muir Engineering was founded by its current managing director, John Muir, in 1968. Based at Kingston, south of Hobart, the company employs 45 people and designs and manufactures a range of windlasses and winches for pleasure craft, mega and super yachts, commercial craft including fast ferries and defence vessels. The company's high-quality products are sought after with Muir Engineering exporting around 60% of its products to markets as diverse as the USA, Middle East, UK, European Countries including Scandinavia, Turkey and Asia-Pacific. Muir also exports to South Africa and Canada - to more than 40 countries world wide.

Hazard Systems Pty Ltd - to develop a new range of warning lights and sirens for use on emergency vehicles, such as police cars and ambulances - $296,850. [Richard Ireland (03) 6334 2500]

Hazard Systems Pty Ltd was founded by its current managing director, Richard Ireland, in the late 1980s. The company makes warning light and siren systems for a range of emergency vehicles and holds contracts with some of Australia's largest police agencies. The company is

dominant in the domestic market and is targeting the export market with its new range of products. Based in Launceston, the company employs around 20.

Serve-Ag Pty Ltd - to develop a tough and reliable real-time environmental monitoring system that can be used in fresh and salt water - $222,500. [Ian Scutt, (03) 6233 5522]

http://www.ausindustry.gov.au/scripts/ShowContentPageDetail.asp ?PageID=609 19/05/1999

Auslndustry - 12 May 1999 Media Release: Industry Research & Development Board Page 2 o f 2

Serve-Ag Pty provides a range of services and advice to 'biocultural' industries -- horticultural, pastoral, forestry, aquaculture and environmental management. The company has grown rapidly since its establishment in Devonport in 1976. It now employs around 60 and operates branches throughout Tasmania, Victoria and in Queensland. The R&D project is aimed at producing an environmental monitoring system, initially aimed at the aquaculture industry, that will allow managers to consistently monitor a range of environmental parameters and act to avoid major fish kills.

Airport Maintenance Services (AMS) Pty Ltd - for its aircraft ground equipment for regional airports -$130,337. [Brian Hawkins, (03) 6391 8297]

Airport Maintenance Services (AMS) is a small company operating out of the Launceston Airport. The company began designing ground-based equipment for small and medium sized aircraft in 1995, and has recently been offered a Concessional Loan to commercialise a range of further equipment for use in regional airports. Central to the project is the commercialisation of a hydraulic lift for people with disabilities, suitable for use with all small and medium aircraft.

In developing their products, AMS has worked very closely with the airlines, and for the chair lift, received advice from the Physical Disability Council of Tasmania Inc. The company will service the Australian market as well as target the export markets of New Zealand and North America.

Details of approved grants and loans can be viewed on the Auslndustry website at: www.ausindustry.gov.au in the media release categories under "publications".

The R&D Start Program provides funding for Australian companies to undertake R&D and related activities and aims to increase the number of R&D projects with high commercial potential, foster innovation in Australian business and greater commercialisation of outcomes from R&D projects.

Contact: Professor Don Anderson I R&D Board Ph: 07 3365 6259

Geoff Atkinson State Manager, Auslndustry Ph: 018 123 084

Deanna Wittey Andrews Marketing Group Ph: 0417 523 732

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http://www.ausindustry.gov.au/scripts/ShowContentPageDetail. asp ?PageID=609 19/05/1999