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Queensland's bright ideas draw $3.2m in R&D funding.

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

8 April 2003 03/054


An underground tunnelling system for use in mines, a portable device that records bad driving habits and a new treatment for skin disorders are examples of the innovative Queensland projects to be offered funding in the latest round of the Howard Government’s R&D Start program.

Federal Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, today announced that five Queensland companies have been successful in the highly-competitive research and development program.

“This program is so competitive, only about half the applicants make the grade for funding. These five Queensland recipients are being offered a total of more than $3.2 million which will help each of them move their projects from the concept to the proof stage,” he said.

The five Queensland projects are: • RME Underground Pty Ltd - Manufacture of an underground tunnelling/rock bolting system that will improve mine safety and cut tunnelling costs.

• Very Small Particle Company - Development of a production plant for nano-scale oxide materials as a basis for future industrial plants.

• Rodmich Pty Ltd - Build a computer program able to use satellite imagery to accurately assess the damage caused to broadacre crops by hailstorms.

• Biovite Australia Pty Ltd - Development of a fungicide, using plant extracts, to treat skin disorders in humans and animals.

• Vigil Systems Pty Ltd - Completion of a driver training aid that is able to record a driver’s bad habits like excessive braking and swerving.

“The diversity of these projects is testimony to Australian companies who are quietly getting on with their R&D - making the most of an economy which remains very supportive of such activity,” said Mr Macfarlane.

In the first round of R&D Start for 2003, 29 companies around the country have been offered a total of almost $26.5 million.

More than $160 million will go to clever Australian companies through the program this year. R&D Start is part of the Howard Government’s $3 billion

innovation package Backing Australia’s Ability and is administered by AusIndustry.

Further information on this program and other Federal Government assistance measures can be found at or by calling the Hotline on 13 28 46.

Media Contact: Kirsty Boazman, (02) 6277 7580, Mobile: 0412 171 444

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