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945,000 R&D grant puts new precision into planting.



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The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources Media Release - 18 June 2004

$945,000 R&D grant puts new precision into planting

Western Australia company Computronics has been awarded an Australian Government R&D Start grant of $945,000 to produce a computer-controlled crop-quality system which will make planting a precise science.

Federal Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, announced the grant today for the Perth-based company which specialises in the development and manufacture of microcomputer-based products for the agriculture, leisure and transport industries.

“Computronics already has an international reputation as a supplier of cutting-edge farming equipment. Its Farmscan system is a unique computer-driven tool that uses GPS guidance to guide machinery around a field, even turning the corner for the farmer,” said Mr Macfarlane.

“Hi-tech advancements like these are changing the face of farming, as I knew it. It’s become less tiring and far more precise with savings of 6-10 per cent on crop inputs and operating costs because planting overlaps are a thing of the past,” he said.

Computronics technology produces a range of precision agriculture monitors and controllers used by the farming community to increase efficiency in agricultural industries.

The R&D Start grant will also support the development of an innovative system that will be of particular benefit to the wine industry by improving the quality control of its grape harvest.

Computronics already has an international presence and the company forecasts healthy earnings from the international market.

“It’s very encouraging to see companies such as Computronics carrying out innovative research and development which would benefit the Australian economy when it reaches the marketplace,” said Mr Macfarlane.

“Farming may be a time-old profession but it has never been an area shy to take up the challenge of improving outcomes by embracing new technologies. This grant will help bring a new wave of farming technology to commercialisation,” he said.

Information on the latest R&D Start and COMET recipients is available at www.ausindustry.gov.au or call the AusIndustry Hotline on 13 28 46.

AusIndustry Contact: Chris Butler, 02 6213 7324 or 0411 130 677

Media Contact: Kirsty Boazman, (02) 6277 7580, Mobile: 0412 171 444 Email: kirsty.boazman@industry.gov.au Web site: www.industry.gov.au