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$33 million for 23 innovative IT&C R&D projects.

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The Commonwealth Government provided funding worth more than $33 million under the R&D Start Program for 23 information technology projects in the first three months of this year, the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Nick Minchin, announced today. 31 May 2001

31 May 2001             01/240


The Commonwealth Government provided funding worth more than $33 million under the R&D Start Program for 23 information technology projects in the first three months of this year, the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Nick Minchin, announced today.

“This latest funding takes the amount awarded to the IT&C sector for the 2000-01 financial year to more than $62 million for 66 projects,” Senator Minchin said.

“All the projects were assessed against highly competitive criteria. It gives us cause to be optimistic about our nation’s capability in the field of information technology and communications R&D.”

The projects included developing computerised auction systems for fresh flowers, enhancing a 3D VMD system, developing the I-Site 3D laser imaging camera, a mining software package for tracking ore blocks, and an ocean watch fisheries management system.

Senator Minchin said the Commonwealth Government had a number of measures in place to assist innovative companies to undertake R&D, commercialise the product and take it to the market place.

“The R&D Start Program is just one of those measures, with total funding for the financial year to the end of March, across all industry sectors now at $166 million for 199 projects.

The grants and loans approved by the Government’s Industry Research & Development Board under the R&D Start Program ranged from $56,000 to $11.9 million.

“While the projects vary in size across the industry sectors, they are all very innovative. It is evidence once more that we are a nation with good ideas. This funding provides the opportunity to bring that idea a step closer to reality.”

Senator Minchin said that total funding allocated to R&D Start program had been increased and over the eight year period from 1998-2006 would reach nearly $1.8 billion.

“The Government would like to see even more businesses being innovative, undertaking R&D and commercialising their research efforts, all of which are key drivers for Australia’s future economic success.

“The release by the Prime Minister of the innovation statement, Backing Australia’s Ability, is providing a further $2.9 billion of Commonwealth investment in Australia’s research abilities and underscores the Government’s commitment to the future growth of an innovative Australian economy,” Senator Minchin said.

A summary of some of the IT projects is attached. A full list of the projects which received funding from 1 January to 31 March 2001 can be seen at together with details of R&D Start and other AusIndustry products. Further information is also available on the AusIndustry HotLine on 13 28 46.

Media Contact:   Jennifer Eddy, Senator Minchin’s office, 02 62777580

All other inquiries: Chris Butler, AusIndustry, 02 6213 7325 or 0411 130 677


  Energetics Pty Ltd (NSW)*R&D Start Grant $3.3 million This project (Our Energy Manager [OeM]) involves the development of a comprehensive set of applications, delivered via the Internet, that will capture, analyse and manage information relating to energy, greenhouse gas and environmental costs and issues for large companies. The product will be a totally integrated energy and environmental management solution that will deliver world’s best practice methodologies for energy and environmental management. It will incorporate on-line energy usage management, e-procurement, on-line contract management, comprehensive greenhouse management and carbon trading functions. Contact: Mr Stan Ghys (02) 9929 3911

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Tomorrow Technologies Pty Ltd (QLD)*R&D Start Grant $254,300 The company is developing software and hardware that will operate computerised,   high-transaction, real-time auctions, initially targeted at the auction of fresh flowers. The auction system utilises both the Internet for global participation and radio remote bidding units for   on-site, allowing bidder flexibility with equal participation in an auction in real-time (measured in milliseconds). The Internet disseminates information and markets each industry as a whole via the auction system. The on-line auction system reduces intermediate costs, product handling and the time taken to get the product from the grower to the consumer. The auction system obtains information that enhances demand and supply trend evaluation, resulting in less product wastage. Contact: Paul Cadell  (07) 3896 9070

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Maptek Pty Ltd (SA) -- R&D Start Grant $2.4 million The project involves the development of a Laser Imaging Camera which captures 3D graphical information, imaging subjects in 3D safely with speed, accuracy and a photo realistic appearance. The

combination of laser, electronics and software technology will enable the interactive presentation, analysis and assessment of real scenes and objects in unparalleled detail. The proposed portability, accuracy and range of the device, combined with ease of use and manipulation of data, will make it suitable for an extensive range of commercial applications. The device will overtake traditional surveying, photogrammetry and photography, and is also predicted to become widely used in emerging machine vision applications. Market research shows that the device will have applications in mining, civil engineering, surveying, entertainment and internet markets, defence, police and emergency services, robotics and automation, industry, architecture, forestry, utilities and telecommunications and archaeology.   Contact: Dr Bob Johnson  (08) 8338 9222

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Advanced Communications Technologies (Aust) Pty Ltd (VIC)*R&D Start Grant $11.9 million Development of this project will allow cellular base stations to be simultaneously compatible with all current and future mobile phone types, and place Australia at the forefront of wireless communications technology. The ACT SpectruCell technology is a Software Defined Radio (SDR) and is leading the world in development of this next generation wireless technology.

SpectruCell is designed to maximise the potential of existing network, while allowing network providers to migrate their services to 3G [Third Generation] standards. Communication network providers will be able to upgrade their services at a reduced cost compared with what is currently possible and without the need to set up new infrastructure. The technology will be applicable to existing and new networks at a price which is competitive with current technologies. Contact: Mr Graeme Shearer  (03) 9672 8811

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