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Special industry briefings on expanded industrial research and development grants and Interscan

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(Statement by the Minister for Productivity, Mr Ian Macphee)

Special briefings for the manufacturing and mining industries explaining the expanded industrial research and development (IR&D) grants scheme for 1978-79 will be held in every State capital during October,

The special briefings have been arranged by the Department of Productivity in co-operation with the Confederation of Australian Industry and the Chambers of Manufactures in each State.

In conjunction with the IR&D briefings, there will also be special sessions focussing on the opportunities for Australian industry flowing from the InterScan microwave landing system project.

Industrial research and development grants for industry was one of the few areas to receive substantially increased funding in the 1978-79 Federal Budget,

As announced by the Minister for Industry & Commerce, Mr Phillip Lynch, and the Minister for Productivity, Mr Ian Macphee, on 16 August, funding for IR&D this financial year is up by 75% to $24 million.

In addition a number of important improvements to the industrial research and development grants scheme were announced. The changes are designed to encourage the creation of new export- oriented industries, like InterScan, and the expansion of existing

industries based on improved competitiveness and the development of new more innovative Australian products and processes,

"These improvements, together with the big increase in overall funding,provide an excellent' foundation for a badly-needed revival of IR&D activity in Australia", Mr Macphee said.

, "IR&D has fallen to low levels during recent years. .

It has now been given a significant boost to assist business recovery and national productivity and to encourage industry to be more innovative in both products and processes."

"My Department is giving priority to the job of ensuring that industry understands the new procedures and is given every assistance in getting new IR&D projects going as soon as possible.


"The streamlined procedures and generous funding this financial year mean that the delays of previous years can be eliminated,, ·

"I urge companies in manufacturing and mining to ensure their executives are fully briefed on the new arrangements so they may take maximum advantage of the available IR&D funds."

Mr Macphee also emphasised the new Section 39 "public interest" grants which have been funded for the first time in 1978-79.

A substantial proportion of funding is available for this new category of grants to support projects which are to -the benefit of Australia but are not viable in normal commercial terms due to high risk, long lead-times, lack of Australian technical capacity

or other factors. ,

In this field, the Department of Productivity will shortly be inviting proposals in the areas of large-scale water treatment and low-volume batch technology, .

Mr Macphee said he would attend industry briefings by his . senior officers in Sydney and Melbourne as well as other capitals as time permits. He emphasised that companies interested in IR&D grants should attend these briefings or contact the Regional Office

of the Department of Productivity in each State capital.

In addition to Mr Macphee, speakers at the IR&D briefings will include:

, Mr Ralph Tobias, First Assistant Secretary, Productivity Development Division, ■ Department of Productivity,

„ Mr Joe Clark, Acting Chairman, Australian Industrial Research and Development Incentives Board,

A program for the special industry briefings is attached.

Further information:

Minister for Productivity's Office: .

- Rob Palfreyman (062) 73 3233

Department of Productivity: .

- Fred Witsenhuysen (062) 48 2449

Canberra, 4 October 1978.


DEPARTMENT o f p r o d u c t i v i t y 1

SPECIAL i n d u s t r y b r i e f i n g s

INDUSTRIAL r e s e a r c h a n d .



* Media are welcome to attend all sessions

City Date Time Location *

ydney 9 October


3 pm (InterScan) 4 pm


NSW Chamber of Manufactures, 10th floor, 60 York Street, Sydney. Contact: Mrs D 0 Curry (02) 290 0700 Ext.333.

elbourne 16 October Monday 3 pm (InterScan)

4 - 5.30pm

Victorian Chamber of Manufactures, Norman Jones Auditorium, 370 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. ■

Contacts Mr Horrie Leek (03) 698 4209.

delaide . 17 October Tuesday 3,30 - 5pm Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Industry House, Chamber boardroom,

1st floor, 12 Pirie Street, Adelaide. Contact: Ms Ann Hookham (08) 212 4691. '

5erth 18 October



Contact: Mr Frank Malone (09) 325 0111 Manufacturing Industry Division Cohfederatioi of Western Australian Industry

n to be advised

lobart 27 October


4 -5.30pm Westside Motor Inn 156 Bathurst Street, Hobart. Contact: Mr Lloyd Trounce (002) 34 5933.

Brisbane To be adv ised Queensland Chamber of Manufactures

Auditorium, Lower ground floor, Industry House, 375 Wickham Terrace, Brisbane. Contact: Mr Don Walker (07) 221 1699.