Olympic Games light up Government-supported innovations

World first technologies, including a solar- and wind-powered vessel and the Olympic Torch, are being showcased as part of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

According to NSW Minister for State Development, Michael Egan, more than 250 companies -- from industries including computer hardware and software, telecommunications and mining, minerals and geoscience -- have been selected for the program which was launched in 1997 as part of the Olympic Business Roundtable. The ATS is one of three Olympic business programs launched to promote technology and innovation in New South Wales and Australia, the other two being Business Club Australia and Investment 2000.

Speaking at a media conference today, Egan said that since launching the program in 1997, the ATS has generated new investments and export sales of $160 million.

According to Egan, the NSW Government has contributed around $6 million to the initiative since its launch.

"The success of ATS . . .has led to the establishment of the program nationally," Egan said.

The Federal Government, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT have already joined the program, and Victoria and other states are expected to join in coming months, he said.

Toolmaker and metal pressing company GA & L Harrington was recently selected to join the Showcase to promote the technology behind the Olympic Torch. Solar Sailor has developed a hybrid electric vessel which will be used to transport media between Circular Quay and the Sydney Media Centre at Pyrmont during the Olympic Games, and Armacel Composite Technologies has developed building materials for use at Olympic venues.

Additionally, more than 250 innovative technologies will be displayed tomorrow at an ATS exhibition at Fox Studios. IT companies exhibiting include JTEC, Krone, Sapphire Software, Redfern Photonics and Syrinx Speech Systems.

The ATS Exhibition 2000 will be held between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Fox Studios Australia, Errol Flynn Boulevard, Moore Park.

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Luisa Bustos

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