Fed Govt. retaliates over lack of IT Budget spend

Fed Govt. retaliates over lack of IT Budget spend

The Federal Government hit back today after its 2001-2002 Budget was slammed for neglecting the IT sector, this time dredging up some ‘warm-fuzzies' from its long running R&D Start program.

The Government's R&D Start program, which began in 1998 to help fund innovative research and development projects across all industry sectors, has backed 23 additional information technology and communications (IT&C) projects in the period from January 1 to March 31, 2001.

The 23 projects were funded to the tune of $33 million taking the total R&D Start funding to $166 million so far for the financial year 2000-2001. The funding for the R&D Start program was increased in January by $535 million, taking it to $1.8 billion for the period of 1998-2006, as part of the Government's Backing Australia's Ability initiative.

Ranging from $56,000 to $11.9 million in value, the newly awarded grants went to various hardware, software and communications initiatives including a suite of applications to manage environmental emissions for large enterprises, an online auction site for fresh flowers, a 3D camera for mapping mineral deposits and a compatibility solution for mobile phones and cellular base stations.

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