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Aussie company develops world-first product

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Research & Development Board

10 March 1998

Aussie Company Develops World-First Product


Sydney-based healthcare company ResMed has developed a respiratory system that offers hope to all sufferers o f the potentially fatal condition, obstructive sleep apnea.

The product, AutoSet Clinical System, is a world-first. It was developed in Australia with funding from the Commonwealth Government's Industry Research & Development Board (IR&D Board).

Previously, the only treatments for obstructive sleep apnea were such things as oral appliances or surgery; and these were often ineffective or invasive. AutoSet consists o f a monitor and a light mask that patients wear to bed at night, and it controls the pressure in the patient's airways on a breath-by­ breath basis. The computer only gives as much air as is needed for the different stages o f sleep.

It is estimated that nine per cent o f the male population over the age o f 30 suffers from significant sleep apnea. Severe sufferers stop breathing periodically throughout the night, and may be at risk of developing hypertension, stroke and other cardiovascular disease.

"The funding from the IR&D Board helped us get our idea from the laboratory out into the marketplace," said Dr Jonathan Wright, ResMed's vice-president for marketing.

"We have applied for a licence with the Australian Food & Drug Administration which will allow AutoSet to go on sale nationally."

ResMed's bright ideas and commitment to commercialisation have paid off for the company's bottom line. With the motto, "innovation and internationalisation", ResMed has achieved a compound sales growth rate of 79 per cent over the last eight years.

Acting Chairman o f the IR&D Board, Dr Terry Cutler, says, "Many Australian companies have innovative ideas, and just need a little assistance to get them up and running, to take their project from the drawing board through to commercialisation.

"Our aim is to increase the R&D focus o f Australian business culture. ResMed is reaping the benefit of undertaking research and development and there is a significant flow-on effect for the Australian economy," he said.

Contacts: D r Terry Cutter A/g Chair, IR&D Board (03) 9329 8411 Mobile 0412 175 715

D r Andreas Dubs Auslndustry (02) 6213 7330 Mobile; 041 930 1654

Dr Jonathan Wright Vice-President Marketing ResMed (02) 9850 2300

CM R989

Fact Sheet INDUSTRY RESEARCH &developm entBOARD The Industry Research and Development Board

The Industry Research and Development Board is an independent statutory body whose purpose is to provide advice to government on national industry-based R&D

strategies and priorities, and to administer specific Federal Government programs in support o f industry-based innovation.

By these means, the IR&D Board has a$ its broad mission to increase the level and commercial success o f industry-based R&D in Australia.

In line with industry assistance programs, the IR&D Board utilises the services of Auslndustry as a single point o f contact for companies wishing to access its programs.

Applications of its various forms of R&D support are considered by the IR&D Board through its committees.

The Board’s membership is drawn primarily from the private sector and members’ qualifications and experience cover a wide

range o f commercial and technical areas in various industries.

R&D Programs

Specifically, the Board, through the R&D Start program is responsible for:

• providing competitive grants for industry-based R&D; • providing concessional loans for commercialisation o f technological

innovation; administering the Innovation Investment Fund (IIF);and administering the 125% R&D tax

concession, jointly with the Australian Taxation Office.

These programs support market-led research and development that leads, through successful commercialisation o f new products, services and processes, to wealth generation in Australia.

Who can apply?

Companies undertaking R&D, and in need o f assistance to develop or to commercialise a product, may be eligible for grants and concessional loans under R&D Start.

R&D S tart Program

R&D Start provides flexible funding arrangement for both large and small R&D projects.

The R&D Start program is competitive and is not an entitlement. As in the wider market place, firms will be competing against each other for support.

R&D Start will include the following elements in the 1998-99 financial year: • Grants for R&D projects undertaken by SMEs to achieve internationally

competitive products, processes or services which demonstrate significant commercial potential.

• R&D Start-Plus will provide grants up to 20% of the project cost for companies with a group turnover o f more than $50 million.

• R&D Start-Premium will provide assistance to successful applicants over and above the level o f assistance provided under the general R&D Start

and R&D Start-Plus. Assistance will be provided up to 72 cents in the dollar and support will be repayable upon successful commercialisation through a royalty agreement or similar arrangement. • Grants for Graduate-based R&D related

projects in small-to-medium-sized enterprises promote new and appropriate linkages between industry and tertiary/research institutions.

• Grants for Collaborative R&D projects between research institutions and companies to encourage collaboration on high technical risk projects with

substantial national benefits. • Concessional Loans for the Commercialisation of Technological Innovation supports small companies in

the early commercialisation of technological innovation in goods and services. • The Innovation Investment Fund fllFl

aims to stimulate early-stage venture capital for small technology-based companies.

R&P Tax Concession The Concession aims to encourage increased investment in research and development by Australian companies to assist them become more innovative and increase their international competitiveness. The tax benefit from the Concession can provide companies with the opportunity to reinvest the resultant

tax savings. With new and improved products and services, companies can enjoy the benefits o f greater competitiveness through increased sales and consequent


C o n t a c t s

For further information on the IR&D Board, contact: IR&D Board Secretariat Auslndustry Fh: 02 6Z13 7345

Fax: 02 6213 7677

Information is also available on the Auslndustry Homepage: http://www,

Postal Address IR&D Board Secretariat Auslndustry GPO Box 9839 CANBERRA ACT 2601

For further information on R&D programs, contact:

Auslndustry Hotline 13 28 46