Caringbah high tech mask company AusAir will receive up to $1 million in NSW Government funding to help develop products that will reduce waste from discarded surgical masks and respirators.

The funding is being provided through the NSW Government’s Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) program, which aims to help small businesses and Government agencies work together to solve complex challenges.

Through the program AusAir will be able to develop its compostable surgical mask and respirator products ready for market.

The NSW Government is drawing on the expertise of local businesses to develop home grown solutions to problems such as waste from used surgical masks and respirators.

Masks and respirators are an essential part of life, particularly in health care, but once used they end up as waste in landfill.

Shire based business AusAir is working to address this problem with masks and respirators that use sustainable materials and meet global benchmarks for composting certification.

This would enable unsoiled masks and respirators that would normally end up as landfill being composted.

I am delighted that the NSW Government is backing small businesses like AusAir to develop their innovative products to the point that they can realise their commercial potential and help improve environmental and social outcomes.

Having already completed a Feasibility Study under Phase 1 of the SBIR, AusAir will develop a proof of concept for its surgical respirator and surgical mask models.

Following the proof-of-concept phase, NSW Government agencies will consider buying products from the successful projects.