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IT company offered $12m in funding for smartcard R&D.

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2 February1999

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IT company offered S12m in funding for smartcard R&D


The chairman of the Commonwealth Government's Industry Research and Development Board, Professor Don Anderson, today congratulated Australian-owned IT company Keycorp on being. offered research and development assistance of S 12 million for its smartcard project.


The funding will enable Keycorp to develop through its Privacy Host project, a pilot module to demonstrate centralised management system to handle multi-application smartcards, capable of controlling up to 10 million smartcards


The assistance has been provided under the Commonwealth Government's R&D Start Program, with $4.5 million being offered as a grant under Start Plus, and $8m being repayable under the new Start Premium component.


Professor Anderson said that Keycorp was one of the first companies to take advantacre of the R&D Start Premium funding since its inception last year.


“Keycorp is one of Australia's leading IT companies and has a proven record in developing applications for electronic commerce," Professor Anderson said. "This funding will enable it to broaden its base from being a supplier of hardware to being a supplier of IT services.


"The project, whilst streamlining the latest transaction technology through smartcards, terminals and the Internet, also addresses the security and privacy implications."


Keycorp specialises in electronic commerce, and has been especially successful in developing electronic banking terminals, EFTPOS terminals and smartcard applications.


Professor Anderson said, "The R&D Start Program was created to encourage innovative companies to undertake research and development which will lead to new, commercially oriented products and services."


Expenditure for the program will be over $700 million over the next four years. Stan Plus provides grants up to 20 per cent of project costs for larger Australian companies with a group turnover of $50 million or more, and StartPremium offers additional repayable amounts to 'top up' grants, to a maximum of 56.25 per cent of

project costs.


"The Commonwealth Government is committed to assisting businesses with a strong, focus on Innovation and a commitment to research and development," he said.”Bybuilding a stronger research base and assisting businesses to take their projects and products to the market, we will strengthen the Australian economy.



Contact Professor Don Anderson

IR&D Board

07 3237 0698


Andrew Bain


02 6213 7300


Ian Stead


02 9414 5275