AUSTRALIAN TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE PATRONS AWARD
The Hon. PENNY SHARPE:
My question is addressed to the Minister for State Development. Could the Minister please inform the House about a New South Wales company that has won a State Government award for technology that is assisting the multibillion-dollar horse breeding industry?
The Hon. IAN MACDONALD:
Last night I had the pleasure of attending the New South Wales Government's Australian Technology Showcase Patrons Award at Government House. This event acknowledges international success by companies that have been assisted through the Government's Australian Technology Showcase program. The program promotes leading New South Wales technologies to national and international markets, helping innovative companies grow. The Australian Technology Showcase program started in 1998 during the lead-up to the Sydney Olympics. Since then more than 600 New South Wales technologies have been supported. These companies have collectively generated more than $730 million in sales, exports and investments, attributable in part to their participation in this New South Wales Government initiative.
I am pleased to inform the House that the latest export star is a company based at Macquarie Park, North Ryde—Peptech Pty Limited. This company was recognised last night for its export market success with its innovative technology, which assists the multibillion-dollar horse breeding industry. Peptech has produced the drug ovuplant, which is providing greater control and certainty for horse breeders across all sectors, not just in the thoroughbred industry. The drug is a small implant that is placed in the neck of mares to release the drug deslorelin, which stimulates hormone production via the pituitary gland. This ensures that within 48 hours of implantation the mare has a very high likelihood of ovulation. This means that horse breeders can precisely time when to introduce a stallion to best achieve fertilisation. It reduces the cost and time associated with successful breeding. It also brings greater certainty to the multibillion-dollar horse breeding industry. This can be particularly vital during times when highly expensive thoroughbred shuttle stallion servicing is being used.
The drug is now being sold to the horse breeding industry in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It is also being used when artificial insemination is carried out—that is probably in the harness industry. The Department of State and Regional Development has helped Peptech break into global markets with export support grants through the Australian Technology Showcase program.
This same company, Peptech, is also achieving international success with a related drug called suprelorin. This drug is licensed to control breeding in dogs, but it is also being used successfully by zoos and wildlife parks for breeding management in animals including lions, cheetahs, monkeys, dolphins, seals and other mammals. Zoos currently using this drug include Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, St Louis, Calgary and Singapore. Peptech is marketing this drug in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Scandinavia, and soon in Switzerland and parts of Eastern Europe.
I would also like to congratulate the other finalists in the Australian Technology Showcase Patrons Award: Ultimo company Nuix Pty Ltd, which produces email and data forensics software for use in litigation and criminal investigations; Ultimo company Fluffy Spider Technologies Pty Ltd for its technology, which offers a multimedia and graphics platform for embedded applications; Seven Hills company Pavement Management Services Pty Ltd, which produces software-based products that model and predict deterioration of roads; Lane Cove company Cap-XX Ltd, which uses breakthrough nanotechnology processes to produce powerful supercapacitors to power portable electronics devices; and St Leonards company Advanced Surgical Design and Manufacture Ltd, which developed a surface finishing technology for chrome cobalt components in knee and other joint replacements. I would like to congratulate all finalists on their success and I look forward to hearing about their progress in the future.