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Government launches $38.2m strategy for new technologies

The Rudd Government is introducing a national framework to guide the safe development of new technologies such as nanotechnology and biotechnology.

The framework is part of a $38.2 million National Enabling Technologies Strategy.

According to innovation minister, Senator Kim Carr, new technologies like nanotechnology and biotechnology have enormous potential, but companies developing them require the community’s support.

“Health, safety and environmental protection are paramount for the Government. This strategy is about ensuring we meet the highest standards while at the same time maximising opportunities to develop these cutting-edge technologies,” he said.

“The responsible development of enabling technologies will support new industries, new export opportunities and, most importantly, new jobs.

“These technologies promise to give us breakthrough medicines, faster computers, new biofuels, stronger and lighter materials, better solar cells, more abundant and nutritious food, purer water, and much more besides.

“They will be worth trillions in the years ahead. It is essential that Australia has a stake in this market.”

The strategy provides three funding opportunities:

• $10.6 million to support policy and regulatory development, industry uptake, international engagement and strategic research;

• $9.4 million for public awareness and community engagement to increase understanding of enabling technologies; and

• $18.2 million for the National Measurement Institute to improve measurement infrastructure, standards and expertise and ensure that Australia leads the way internationally.

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