Companies wanting to learn from the world's best designers can recoup 30 per cent of air fares for staff to visit national or international conferences and exhibitions, under a scheme introduced by the State Government.
The funding is intended to help Western Australian companies to ensure their products and services are designed to meet the needs of world markets.
It also helps them identify new product opportunities, thereby becoming more competitive nationally and internationally.
The Minister assisting the Minister for Trade, Gordon Hill, said it was not good enough anymore to design only for the needs of the Australian market. Export products and services now had to compete internationally against the world's best.
Mr Hill said the companies to receive priority for funding would be those in the key strategic industry sectors.
These included mineral and new material processing; agricultural and commodity processing; biotechnology; information technology; aerospace and defence; recycling and waste management; mining; building and construction and exportable services.
"The scheme allows companies to claim 30 per cent of the cost of economy-class air fares for two representatives," he said.
"This funding follows on from other Government initiatives to assist industry to incorporate better design into its business operations.
"It also complements other programs promoting effective design available under the National Industry Extension Service (NIES)."
Mr Hill said companies seeking the support must be eligible to use the NIES Design Consulting Service.
"They need to provide specific details of their proposals at least a month before the proposed trip," he said.
"The conference or exhibition also needs to be one of major importance to the industry of which the company is involved."
Further information is available from the marketing branch of State Development, telephone 327 5666.