Australian manufacturers drive economic growth by making complex things the world needs

Image credit: AMGC
Media Release by AMGC

The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) has marked the closure of its $30 million Federal Government Commercialisation Fund with co-investment into a final six Australian manufacturers.

In total, 61 Australian manufacturers have successfully received co-investment via the AMGC-managed program which aims to fast-track commercialisation and export of high-tech and high-in-demand products and services, spanning sub-sectors of; value add to resources, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries; transport; medical sciences; renewables, and low emissions technology; defence, space and, enabling technology – such as AI and robotics.

Analysis of co-investment recipients reveals that manufacturers committed over two dollars ($2.30) of cash and in-kind contributions for every dollar of Federal funding. As a total, industry financial contribution and in-kind funding commitment tallies $98.8 million – treble that of the initial fund allocation.

The strong contribution from industry, combined with Federal funding, is forecast to generate over 1,450 new local manufacturing jobs over the coming 12-24 months, across professional, skilled and manual roles – all within manufacturing.

The final six projects to successfully receive co-investment include:

Hygiene Co. (SA) – Recycling: Sovereign manufacturing of plastic-free wipes for medical, industrial, and personal use. The project removes reliance on international supply chains, while substantially decreasing CO2 emissions and waste from the importation of plastic-based wipes. Total project commitment $4.33million ($644,728 from Commercialisation Fund)

Provectus Algae (QLD) – Food and beverage: Validation and commercialisation of a manufacturing process to produce the red-pigmented algae to enhance the texture and colour of plant-based meat products. Total project commitment $2.93million ($525,000 from Commercialisation Fund)

Laronix (NSW) – Medical:  Commercialisation of Bionic Voice, the world’s first and only smart natural-sounding artificial voice-box for people suffering from permanent voice loss. Total project commitment $817,536 ($408,768 from Commercialisation Fund)

Process Plants International (PPI) (QLD) – Resources Technology & Critical Minerals Processing: Commercialisation of a proven, proprietary anti-block sparge design using exotic metal printing for the minerals processing Pressure Oxidation (POX) autoclave industry. Total project commitment $441,000 ($220,500 from Commercialisation Fund)

Vypex (VIC) – Food and Beverage: Advanced 5.1-based Bluetooth system to track, trace, identify, and alert warehousing staff on items within the work environment, providing for faster identification, minimisation of lost or damaged goods (such as cold store items left in the open) and increased staff safety. Total project commitment $400,000 ($200,000 from Commercialisation Fund)

Optotech (VIC) – Medical:  Development of a new laser-based inspection system to quality assure locally manufactured and highly precise cochlear hearing devices down to two microns across 34 different parameters. Total project commitment $270,500 ($121,500 from Commercialisation Fund

Managing Director of AMGC, Dr Jens Goennemann said the oversubscribed Commercialisation Fund proved there is significant demand from Australia’s local manufacturing industry to invest and commercialise world-leading ideas.

“Australia’s manufacturing industry has been the silent achiever over many years, growing its global customer base and investing for growth to take great local ideas to the world. In fact, demand for co-investment was so strong that the fund was oversubscribed by 300 per cent,” said Goennemann.

“The final six Commercialisation Fund recipients demonstrate that the face of Australian manufacturing has changed, with medical devices, bio-manufacturing, recyclable materials, and laser inspection projects leading the global charge.

“As a nation, we should be investing more into our manufacturing capability. The COVID pandemic shone a light on how important local manufacturing capability is, and now is the time we need to back local companies to assist them in growing their global impact. This will deliver greater benefits at home with higher paying jobs, increasing workers’ skills, and bringing more money into the economy over the longer-term beyond raw commodities trade”, said Goennemann.

AMGC’s expansive portfolio of projects encompasses smart shoe soles produced via additive manufacturing (3D printing) to green steel manufacture, a high-performance EV motorbike and bio-manufacturing of algae for food, agri and medical use, and Australia’s first locally manufactured lithium-ion batteries.

AMGC’s projects are underpinned by strong industry and research partners, with collaboration at the centre of their success. These projects serve as a guiding light to AMGC’s 4,000+ membership base, the broader industry, and state and federal governments.