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R&D Start grant major boost for WA alloy firm: Prosser

The Government was committed to helping small to medium-sized Australian firms become world leaders in their field, the Minister for Small Business and Consumer Affairs, Geoff Prosser, said today (THU).

Presenting Western Australian Specialty Alloys (WASA) Pty Ltd with a cheque for $890,000 at an Industry Research and Development Board function in Perth, Mr Prosser said the RD Start program was of immense benefit in encouraging quality research and development in Australia.

The cheque is the first payment of an RD Start grant of $1.74 million for the development of process technology for the production of 'super clean' Triple Melted Super Alloys.

WASA produces alloys for high-technology components in aircraft turbines, power generation and petrochemicals.

"This firm is a great example of how the Government's RD Start program can assist small to medium sized enterprises become world leaders in their field of endeavour," Mr Prosser said.

"WASA has already been able to establish itself in the very competitive US market which demands the highest quality alloys for its aircraft turbines. With this grant they will be able to make significant inroads into Asian markets such as Japan," he said.

"This project shows that Australian firms are undertaking quality research with a commercial focus, and with critical government support, these companies can develop and commercialise these products to provide major economic and social benefits," Mr Prosser said.

The RD Start program was announced in the 1996/97 Budget, and provides $520 million over four years for strategic assistance for research and development.

Further information:

Simon Troeth, Minister's office, 06 277 7790; 0419 412 715

Kyle Abbott, Western Australian Specialty Alloys Pty Ltd, 08 9367 8288