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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 2 Hansard (9 March) . . Page.. 560..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

Protocom Systems, The Distillery, Tower Software, Electro Optic Systems and CEA Technologies are some of the local business champions we are all familiar with. The successes of these companies tell a clear story about Canberra's private sector. These companies build wealth and new sources of investment capital in the economy. They build the pool of technical and managerial skills we need for the future. They pull their local suppliers along with them. They continually showcase the Canberra story to the outside world.

What is particularly pleasing is the new crop of business champions coming through. RPO Inc recently raised $US9.7 million in financing to further develop its state-of-the-art polymer optical waveguides for flat panel optical touch sensors. The Canberra Business Development Fund, a joint venture with the ACT government and Australian Capital Ventures, is one of the seven national companies contributing to the project. RPO was also a recipient of a knowledge fund development grant.

The Centre for Customs and Excise at the University of Canberra continues to build its reputation as an international centre of excellence in training and education in customs and excise practice, international trade and border security. The centre was awarded the Chief Minister's export award for services in 2004 and again in 2005, and was the recipient of an outstanding export achievement award. The centre's early development was also supported by the government's knowledge fund grant program.

Two Canberra multimedia firms, Bearcage Productions and ZOO Communications, joined forces to win a major award at the Asia Image Apollo Awards in Singapore. Following their participation in the 2005 trade mission to the United Kingdom, a firm called Dreamfarm is now distributing great quantities of their product Greindenstein in the UK. There is a fascinating story behind the boys of Dreamfarm that we could follow up if we had the time.

ITL-Innovative Technologies for Life-a global company in innovative medical services is predicting $30 million in revenue for this year after only 12 years of operation. 2005 also was the first time the ACT has had reigning national small business and export award winners. IELTS-the International English Language Testing System-won the education award at the 2004 Australian Export Awards. Research One won the national microbusiness category at the 2005 Telstra and Government Small Business Awards.

Protocom Systems became ActivIdentity in 2005, following its acquisition. In a recent announcement the former CEO of Protocom, Jason Hart, became the CEO of this global company with its "smarts"firmly embedded in Canberra and its local work force continuing to grow. In 2005 Seeing Machines became the first Canberra company to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

In 2005, in partnership with Austrade, BusinessACT financially supported around 50 ACT businesses on trade missions. Coupled with the government's export growth program, the export business generated by these firms is estimated to be around $23 million. The opening of two international trade offices in Shanghai and Washington DC in 2005 also saw the government partner with the private sector to create further opportunities for ACT exporters. The Canberra Commerce Office in Shanghai is a


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