Feds add funds to encourage Internet projects

Federal government has announced further funding as part of its move to encourage Internet-based commercial projects.

The Industry Minister, John Moore, announced yesterday that $1 million in funds would go to 10 projects ranging from communications to online art, retail sales and pharmaceutical supplies.

Competitive grant funding was awarded to consortia on collaborative projects involving small companies, business associations and universities. The 10 successful, second round projects received more than $900,000.

Grants were for a maximum of 50 per cent of project costs, capped at $150,000 for each project.

Moore said the projects demonstrated how new online technologies could deliver significant business benefits to Australian industry.

Funding was via the second round of grants provided by the IT Online Program for projects that highlight the competitive advantages of online business.

"The projects will test, trial and demonstrate new Internet-based technologies," Moore said.

"This kind of world-best technology will encourage Australian business to take advantage of Internet-based resources and improve competitiveness." The IT Online Program is aimed at raising awareness of the potential benefits from doing business online and to help give Australian industry an advantage in the world marketplace.

"I'd like to emphasise that there are more grants in the pipeline," Moore said.

"The government is strongly committed to the development of online capabilities and this program supports that goal.

"We will be calling for expressions of interest for the third round of funding, early in the 1998-99 financial year," he said.

The projects which were awarded the funds were: Visual Support & Maintenance Online Project, ECommerce for small exporters, Australian Information Security Demonstration Site, Pharmaceutical Electronic Commerce and Communications Project, Tasmanian Design and Development Retail Site, Australian Tertiary Publishing Online, Screen Industries Online, Virtual Cultural Centre, Continuing Online Professional Education, Australian Earth Data Online.

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