27/07/2015 - 15:15

Federal funds good fit for local firms

27/07/2015 - 15:15

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Two Western Australian firms have been among the first round of companies awarded federal grants in the ‘Accelerating Commercialisation’ entrepreneurs program.

Tap into Safety chief executive Sue Bahn

Two Western Australian firms have been among the first round of companies awarded federal grants in the ‘Accelerating Commercialisation’ entrepreneurs program.

This program replaced the former Commercialisation Australia program, which was scrapped in the federal budget last year.

Among those to receive a grant was 2015 Rising Stars startup commendation winner Tap into Safety, which has been awarded $95,000, while a $1 million grant went to One Atmosphere’s Pegasus emergency buoyancy system.

Tap into Safety chief executive Sue Bahn established the company to improve the delivery of safety training.

One of the training modules that will be developed with the funding is aimed at wellbeing and mental health, with several mining companies expressing interest due to recent reports on suicide rates among fly-in, fly-out workers.

“As a bootstrapped startup, having the cash to continue to develop is always a major challenge especially in the first year of business,” Dr Bahn told Business News. “This funding will enable us to support development of new applications plus subsidise the employment of two new staff members. This is also recognition for what we are doing.”

Having worked as a diver on the rescue and recovery of crashed helicopters, One Atmosphere managing director Tim Lyons was motivated to develop a solution. The Pegasus system automatically inflates flotation bags, which keep the helicopter afloat and upright indefinitely, increasing survival rates dramatically and easing asset recovery.

“The … grant will accelerate Pegasus into the international civil and defence market places, as well as assisting us to become a certified aviation manufacturer,” Mr Lyons said.

The entrepreneurs program has a budget of $484 million nationwide over five years. More WA companies are expected to feature in coming rounds as the program ramps up.

In other news, the University of Western Australia has launched an entrepreneurial program called Start Something.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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