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No flies on this sweet smelling R & D project.



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28 October 2003 03/214

NO FLIES ON THIS SWEET SMELLING R&D PROJECT

An Albany company that’s developing a range of unique Australian ‘smells’ for international boutique perfumes is one of more than 100 innovative companies awarded funding through the Australian Government’s R&D Start program this year.

Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane announced while in Western Australia today that Mt Romance Pty Ltd is one of 105 companies across the country awarded a total of more than $98 million in grants and loans through the R&D Start program.

“We have projects from the development of an all-natural food flavour enhancer to an electronic version of hospital medical charts, numerous cutting-edge IT products, and a bedspring manufacturing centre for the international market,” said Mr Macfarlane.

“Today’s announced recipients are mostly small companies, like Mt Romance Australia, with a clever idea who need a little help turning it into a commercial product or service. The program helps them over the research and development hurdles,” he said.

Mt Romance Australia is working to produce previously undiscovered and unique Australian extracts, like sandalwood and other native aromas. The goal is to manufacture innovative concentrates primarily for the luxury perfume sector.

Mt Romance is already an approved supplier of Pure Australian Sandalwood oil with the world’s leading perfume houses. The business has trebled in the last three years and the company hopes to again double its exports and gross revenue over the next three years.

R&D Start is a key program in the Australian Government's $3 billion, five-year innovation initiative, Backing Australia’s Ability.

Other WA companies to receive R&D Start funding include Almos Systems Pty Ltd which received $987,165 for a project involving airport weather sensors, and Lazer Safe Pty Ltd which received $1,214,525 for its press brake system.

Twelve WA companies received funding totalling about $11 million this year. A list of this year’s WA grant recipients can be viewed at www.ausindustry.gov.au

AusIndustry contact: Chris Butler, 02 6213 7324 or 0411 130 677. cmr03-253