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Technology Incubators receive funding in Australia

Senator Ian Campbell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, today launched one of a new generation of technology incubators to receive Federal Government funding under the Building on IT Strengths (BITS) Incubator Program-funded by the second partial sale of Telstra.

"The Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiR) incubator will provide a tailored program of services and facilities to innovative young start-up firms in the information and communications technologies (ICT) sector in order to launch them on a path to international success," Senator Campbell said.

"High quality business development, marketing and technology advice will fast track the best innovations to a point where they are ready for major investment and expansion.

"In the ICT sector, we saw what start-ups needed-capital, business advice, professional services-and the $78 million BITS incubator program is designed to help these companies get the start they need."

BITS incubators are being established in each mainland State and Territory. There will also be one established in Tasmania under the Intelligent Island component of BITS. Senator Campbell said all the Incubators are attracting considerable market attention.

"The last few months have been spent bedding down the Incubator structures, but this phase is now nearing completion and several have already made their first investments," Senator Campbell said.

The founders of EiR are Zernike Australia, Software Engineering Australia (WA) and Imago Multimedia and their strategic partner Australian Telecommunications Cooperative Research Centre. EiR will service Western Australia from two locations in Perth-the Technology Precinct in Bentley and the New Media Village Precinct in East Perth-amongst Western Australia's major clusters of ICT companies offering access to a wealth of information and shared facilities.

"Curtin University, the State's leading University of Technology, is located adjacent to the Technology Precinct. A strong synergy has developed between Curtin University and companies within the precinct, resulting in a wide range of cooperative research programs being developed," Senator Campbell said.

SOURCED by Australian High Commission, Wellington.

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