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IT&T bright ideas shine under R&D Start program.

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Media Release The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

10 September 2003 03/176


An e-library and a web-based digital printing system are just two of the 31 innovative IT projects which have been awarded more than $26 million in funding under the R&D Start program this year.

Federal Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, said today there had been a particularly strong response from IT companies for R&D Start funding which is a highly-competitive program designed to help commercialisation of a service or product.

“We’ve seen some very clever, even cutting-edge, projects come out of this program in recent years. IT products like ERG’s Smartcard which underpins public transport systems and MicroAir’s aviation transponder continue to make an impact in Australian and overseas markets,” said Mr Macfarlane.

“This latest batch of projects is sure to produce more commercial success stories which will further boost the international Australian reputation for innovation and smart ideas. All they require is a helping hand to get up over the commercialisation hurdle,” he said.

Included in this group of recipients are:

• Digital Ink, of Hobart, which received a $76,150 R&D Start grant for its web-based custom printing system. Go Print 1-2-1 Interactive uses digital technology to offer a multi-lingual service to multinationals who have specific printing needs;

• e-Books, of Perth, which received a $478,154 R&D Start grant to assist in the development of an electronic library that will benefit the global academic and the research community; and

• Thiri Pty Ltd, of Canberra, which received a $249,971 R&D Start grant to develop an electronic payments system using a single telephone call as a cash substitute. The revolutionary Point of Sale operation will complement existing banking systems.

“Since January 2001, 386 companies have received R&D Start funding totalling more than $372 million. It is an investment in our economic future that will reap great dividends,” said Mr Macfarlane.

For more information on the R&D Start Program call the AusIndustry Hotline on 13 28 46 or visit the AusIndustry website at

Media inquiries: Kirsty Boazman, 0412 171 444.