Funds boost technology

NEW jobs and the development of industry leading technology are set to flow from a State Government grant just announced for Sage Technology.

The Morwell-based technology company will increase its 24-strong workforce by another five employees and “develop industry leading mobility and user interface technology”, supported by $250,000 allocated through the Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund.

In announcing the funds, which will bring the project’s total expenditure to $500,000, State Member for Morwell Russell Northe said the new technology would be “applied to a world-leading electronic permit to work system”.

Sage Technology currently employed 24 “highly-skilled IT professionals to provide support for the electronic permit to work systems into large industrial plants such as power stations and refineries,” the MP said.

He said the local company would “design and build a range of small applications that interact with SageSURPASS to facilitate on-the-job information and authorisation so work can be completed as efficiently as possible without the need to return to base”.

“Some of the applications will include risk assessments, approving and viewing permits, issuing and surrendering permits, and managing permit controls such as isolation of plant,” Mr Northe said.

“Developing the applications for mobile devices will significantly contribute to workplace efficiency.

“Demand for the applications is anticipated to make a significant contribution to the growth of SageSURPASS and Sage Technology.”

The SAGE Technology Mobilisation and User Interface Unification Project would enable the local company to “meet the demands of its growing global and resources sector client base”, Mr Northe said, adding it would also enhance the company’s “market advantage” over competitors.

He said the LVIIF provided funding of $15 million over three years “to facilitate new employment opportunities and leverage new private sector investment in the region”.

Sage Technology managing director Lynda Bertoli welcomed the support and said the company had “invested significantly in the development of SageSURPASS” to “be a highly regarded and highly competitive product in the global market place”.

“This grant will enable us to take SageSURPASS into the mobility space to optimise the export market and further secure our position of pre-eminence within Australia,” Ms Bertoli said.

The project is expected to be completed in September.