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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Reef-inspired coral sunscreen looks to global market

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Tuesday, August 09, 2016

    Reef-inspired coral sunscreen looks to global market

    A Townsville-based biotechnology company which is developing world-first sunscreen based on the natural sun protection used by corals on the Great Barrier Reef, has been awarded $250,000 in Queensland Government funding to bring their product to market.

    Coral Sunscreen is the latest innovative recipient to be announced from the first funding round of the Palaszczuk Government’s $10 million Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund.

    The Ignite Ideas Fund provides grants to small businesses in Queensland to bring innovative new products and services to market and create the knowledge-based jobs of the future.

    “Coral Sunscreen is an excellent example of Queensland innovation and entrepreneurship – taking research and turning it into an innovative commercial product,” Ms Enoch said.

    “The firm has worked very closely with CSIRO bio-medical scientists to come up with UVA/UVB and Visible sunlight screen filters that have real commercial potential in a variety of applications.

    “The global market for this product is huge, with estimated market growth expected to increase from US$2.7 billion to US$3.4 billion in the next five years.”

    Coral Sunscreen has developed a series of novel generic UV filters that mimic the natural sun protection of Australia's Great Barrier Reef corals.

    The UV filters will be used in cosmetics, sunscreen, sunglasses, plastics, UV film, paint and wood coatings industries. This world first UV filter technology will provide global consumers with UV filters that provide greater protection from the sun, with benefits that include a potential to lessen the incidence of skin cancer.

    Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said she was excited by the potential positive impact the company could make on the local economy.

    “This investment in Coral Sunscreen is designed to help the company grow, employ and importantly keep their operations here in Townsville,” Ms O’Rourke said.

    “By helping high growth potential businesses take the next step in their development, Advance Queensland is having a positive effect in regional economies.”

    Established in 2009, Coral Sunscreen Pty Ltd initially gained access to over 20 years of critical research data by the Australian Institute of Marine Science about the natural chemical compounds shallow water corals use to protect themselves from the harshness of the Australian sun.

    “With that data, the firm then engaged CSIRO to look to create world first UV filter technology that mimics and optimises the coral’s natural sun protection mechanism and can be safely used as an ingredient in human sunscreen,” Ms Enoch said.

    Coral Sunscreen CEO Larissa Bright said the firm wanted to find a way to convert this natural method of coping with exposure to the intensive UV rays from Queensland’s sunshine into a safe and effective sunscreen for human use.

    “These filters will set a new standard in broad spectrum protection,” Ms Bright said.

    “They mimic the natural sunscreen coral has developed and used over millions of years and we have optimised and refined them for human use.

    "It is our vision for the technology to reduce the incidence of skin cancer in Australia.

    “The Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland funding will allow us to speed up the process to market not only within Australia, but will also allow us to bring this world-first  Australian technology, derived from our very own Great Barrier Reef, to the global community.

    “The result will be more jobs for local people as Coral Sunscreen scales up.”

    Media contact: Daniel Lato 0438 830 201