Funding for Qld firm supplying software to NASA

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Gold Coast-based Opmantek, which is supplying software to NASA for use in its Artemis mission, is one of the 44 companies that have received a funding boost from the Queensland Government.

The funding is part of the second round of Trade and Investment Queensland’s (TIQ) grant program, which supports Queensland exporters to finalise new export deals in their target markets. Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk said the companies will share in total funding of nearly $930,000.

“Opmantek and Field Orthopaedics are two highly innovative companies showcasing the best of Queensland on the world stage and it’s exciting to see them making these truly world-leading advances,” the Premier said.

CEO Danny Maher said Opmantek’s is the only monitoring software the US space agency is using for its Artemis program, which it hopes will see the next humans land on the moon in 2024, including the first woman. The funding will help the company make modifications to the software for NASA’s purposes and train their engineers.

Opmantek, a five-time Queensland Exporter of the Year and two-time Australian Exporter of the Year, was founded in 2011 and is already exporting its open-source software to 130,000 companies in 178 countries.

“We think of ourselves as modern-day explorers — we hope we’re breaking down barriers in some markets and making it easier for Australian companies to do business in those markets, just as those before us have broken down barriers and helped us.

“I’m sure most tech companies in the world would love to be involved with a space mission, and this grant helped us take that step and make it commercially possible,” Maher said.

Field Orthopaedics was founded in 2015 by orthopaedic surgeons frustrated by what they saw as shortcomings in surgical practice impacting patients’ care and outcomes and launched the Micro Screw, the world’s smallest cannulated compression screw, in 2017. Field Orthopaedics’ CEO, Dr Chris Jeffrey, said the company is now exporting to 30+ states in the US, as well as Europe, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand.

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