Federal government launches Manufacturing Modernisation Fund

The federal government has launched its $160 million fund to support small and medium sized Australian manufacturers to invest in new technology, grow and create new jobs.

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, while $30 million for will be provided 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.

Federal industry and science minister Karen Andrews said the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund would help manufacturers become more competitive by co‑funding investments in new technologies.

“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,” Andrews said.

“This delivers on the Morrison Government’s commitment to help manufacturing businesses innovate and develop competitive advantage so they can thrive globally.

“Investing in technology can transform businesses, enabling them to become more productive, manufacture new products and create new jobs.

“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.”

Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox welcomed the launch of the fund, and said it would encourage and promote innovation in Australian manufacturing.

“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,” said Willox.

“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.”