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Building industry entrepreneurs take share of federal innovation grants

Toberite
Toberite

A termite-proof building material and a lightweight concrete replacement have shared in $11.3 million offered up by the federal government to help entrepreneurs crack new markets at home and internationally.

Seels Technology, an Adelaide-based company, received the maximum $1 million for its Toberite concrete substitute.

The technology uses a plastic engineered aggregate called UPA6 that replaces the conventional stone aggregate in concrete, which the company says increases the material’s overall strength and workability while reducing the weight of the finished product.

Another $236,965 went to Green Zone, the inventor of an expansion joint foam that can act as a termite or insect barrier.

The materials used are 100 per cent recyclable, and the company says integrating pest control with expansion joint foam simplifies installations and saves builders money.

A media release from new industry, innovation and science minister Greg Hunt said the companies selected in the Entrepreneurs’ Programme grants round would match their funding dollar for dollar.

“The grants help businesses to undertake development and commercialisation activities like product trials, licensing and manufacturing scale-up – essential and often challenging steps in taking new products to market,” a statement from Mr Hunt said.

Other successful projects included:

  • a safer, cheaper and more efficient outdoor grain storage solution for the agricultural industry
  • recycling technology for fats, oils and greases from restaurants that will save money and reduce pollution
  • an anti-theft automated security system for the retail fuel industry
  • a cheaper, faster and safer decontamination process for mine drainage
  • a 3-D printed medical device for jaw joint replacements that reduces surgery risk and improves patient quality-of-life
  • large scale accurate measurement systems for trading soil carbon

The government program has since its inception provided $78.1 in funding to 146 Australian businesses to get their products off the ground.

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