THE Nationals’ Federal Member for Riverina and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has congratulated a long-serving Wagga Wagga dentist for his innovative solution to a growing problem.

Mr McCormack has announced the Liberal and Nationals’ Government will invest $566,715 in Dr Mark’s HygenieTM Australia to accelerate the commercialisation of a device for cleaning, storing and protecting removable oral appliances (ROAs).

A dentist with more than 30 years’ experience, Dr Mark Wotherspoon recognised an issue regarding the unhygienic cleaning of ROAs leading to serious infections and disease, particularly in older Australians who wear dentures.

Mr McCormack said the Federal Government was committed to supporting entrepreneurship and innovation.

“This is a fantastic story of a local man who identified a problem within the industry he works in and set upon finding a solution to the issue,” Mr McCormack said.

“Through tireless work in his own home workshop, Dr Wotherspoon has found a way to effectively clean and store removable dental appliances, such as dentures or mouthguards.

“This is a wonderful example of innovation and problem solving right here in Wagga Wagga.”

Dr Wotherspoon said development of the cleaner started “with numerous dishwashing brushes and a glue gun”.

“There is still a lot of work to do and no doubt some challenges ahead, however we have made a good start to becoming a worldwide brand,” Dr Wotherspoon said.

“I’d like to give a sincere thanks to my wife Clare for her ideas and unwavering support.

“I’d also like to thank our local member Mr McCormack and the Federal Government for their encouragement and financial support, along with our local and Sydney-based investors.”

Dr Wotherspoon said clinical trials for the Dr Mark’s HygenieTM device would begin in September and he hoped to launch the product nationally early next year.

The funding is part of the Accelerating Commercialisation element of the Federal Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme. It is designed to help small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers to provide access to expert guidance and grants to find the right solutions for novel products, processes and services.

Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation Craig Laundy said the latest offers of Accelerating Commercialisation grants was very encouraging as it demonstrated how entrepreneurial Australians play a pivotal role in driving innovation in Australia.

“The Australian Government’s commercialisation support helps businesses prove product, process or service viability and, in some cases, take their innovations to the global market,” Minister Laundy said.

The grants are part of the Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme and, to date, 328 grants worth more than $163 million have been provided to Australian businesses to commercialise their ground-breaking technologies.”

For more information about how to apply for an Entrepreneurs’ Programme Accelerating Commercialisation grant, go to

More information on the grant recipients is available at

Shane Manning