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Alston launches $78 million program to assist IT&T industries.

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Media Release

SENATOR THE HON RICHARD ALSTON

Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate

29 November 1999

152/99

 

ALSTON LAUNCHES $78 MILLION PROGRAM TO ASSIST IT&T INDUSTRIES

 

'The Government is delighted to announce that its $78 million Building Information Technology Strengths (BITS) program is now open for business,' the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, said today.

 

'This program will boost Australia's IT industries, which are the driving forces behind the nation's strong economic and employment growth.

 

'BITS will fund the establishment of at least one "information industries" incubator in each mainland state and territory. There is a separate program for Tasmania.

 

'These incubators will promote innovation and commercial success in the information industries by encouraging the creation and growth of new high-technology firms.

 

'Australians have a record for being innovative and creative, and the new incubator centres will assist new and aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their technology ideas into successful, globally competitive businesses.

 

'As well as providing much needed management, financial and technical advice, the program will provide assistance towards the costs of start-up firms and concept development funding for multimedia and other product and service projects.

 

'Projects receiving a grant will also need to have capital provided by private investors who can contribute to building the new firm or project.

 

'The incubator centres will be a hub of support and information for new and growing firms. They will stimulate the formation of clusters of innovative, dynamic information technology firms and promote innovation and new skills in industry and the research community.'

 

The Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts has called for proposals from consortia and organisations to operate the incubator centres. Information sessions for potential applicants will be held in mainland capital cities between 2 and 8 December 1999.

 

Further details, including Program guidelines, application forms and registration for the information sessions, are available online at www. dcita.gov. au/bits or from 02 62711751.

 

Applications close at 2.00pm, Thursday 20 January 2000.

 

Media contact:

Terry O'Connor, Minister's office 02 6277 7480 or 0419 636 879

website http://www.richardalston.dcita.gov.au

 

 

mm  1999-11-30  12:07