Australian SME manufacturers are being encouraged to invest in new technology with the launch a joint $160 million fund.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews says the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund will help manufacturers become more globally competitive.
“Strengthening our core and emerging manufacturing industries is a key part of the Government’s economic plan to create 1.25 million new jobs over the next five years,” she said.
The new fund was launched at Emesent, a start-up specialising in drone autonomy and mapping technology, based at the CSIRO’s Technology Transfer Centre at Pullenvale, Queensland.
“Investing in technology can transform businesses, enabling them to become more productive, manufacture new products and create new jobs,” Ms Andrews said.
“The fund will provide grants to small and medium manufacturing businesses so they can invest in capital equipment and new technologies to modernise and employ more Australians. It will also support businesses to upskill workers to maximise the benefits of technology.”
The Manufacturing Modernisation Fund will include $50 million from the Government and will be matched by at least $110 million from industry.
The fund will have two types of grants:
- $20 million will be for matched grants of between $50,000 and $100,000 for smaller scale technology investments.
- $30 million for larger-scale grants of up to $1 million, on a three to one funding basis with industry, to support transformative investments in technologies and processes.
The fund builds on other Government investments in manufacturing growth and competitiveness, including the $100 million Advanced Manufacturing Fund, the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, and the $40 million Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre.
Showcasing business success stories
The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) welcomed the announcement.
“It is an initiative that will encourage and promote innovation in Australian manufacturing,” Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said.
“A key part of the value of the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund will be showcasing business success stories and leveraging these by highlighting the key ingredients behind their businesses' achievements.
“The Fund will help local companies accelerate the process of further integrating into global supply chains.
“Technology upgrades will need to be matched with business model innovation to take full advantage of domestic and export opportunities.”
For more information on the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund visit www.business.gov.au/MMF