Qld business lands multi-million-dollar export contract
AERONAUTICAL engineering firm Helimods has landed a multi-million-dollar export contract for medical rescue equipment designed on the Sunshine Coast.
Helimods founder Will Shrapnel said a US firm had locked in a deal on Friday last week to buy automatic stretcher patient loaders for 12 of its large helicopters.
The loaders lift patients from the ground into a helicopter at the push of a button, reducing the risk of injury to patients and medical crew.
Mr Shrapnel said he could not yet reveal the buyer, or the value of the contract, but said the Powered Aero Loaders being sold were worth about $500,000 each.
"It is one of the biggest fleets operating in aeromedical (operations) in the world," Mr Shrapnel said.
"They've chosen this technology through a competitive tender process and selected it as the best product to suit their innovative fleet."
He said the contract included additional servicing work after the patient loading systems had been delivered that would bring ongoing revenue to his Coast business.
Development of the loaders to get them to market stage was in part funded by a $1 million Federal Government grant.
Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said it was money well spent.
"It has enabled a small business like Will's to be able to take on the big players right around the world; not only take them on but to win," Mr Wallace said.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews toured Helimods' Caloundra facility today.
"This is an opportunity to demonstrate that manufacturing is alive and well in Australia," Ms Andrews said.