Automotive firms can now apply for assistance with merger and acquisition costs under a Government program to help the industry, including process and control suppliers, which came into effect on 1st January 2009.
Under the program, Australian automotive firms can apply for help with costs to fund their merger and acquisitions to help their businesses weather the financial storm, which should have a positive effect on control and process companies supplying and upgrading back-end systems for automotive manufacturers.
Called the Automotive Industry Structural Adjustment Program, the offer allows the Rudd Government to work with the automotive industry to strengthen the components sector’s capability to improve supply chain integration, said Carr.
“We cannot have a viable automotive industry without a strong components sector,” Carr said.
Consolidation will help make companies more financially viable and competitive and will need to have demonstrable economic and strategic benefits to the automotive industry to receive support, said Rudd.
Interested firms can refer to the program guidelines before applying, at www.innovation.gov.au/aisap and application forms will be available at the same site shortly.
The move follows a paper released by the minister for innovation, industry, science and research, Senator Kim Carr, last month with three key steps to implement the Rudd Government’s $6.2 billion New Car Plan for a Greener Future.
“These three steps are all significant because they give effect to some of the most critical aspects of the plan,” Carr said.
The three steps are:
• A framework paper outlining the proposed operation of the Government’s $1.3 billion Green Car Innovation Fund. It invites feedback on the Green Car Innovation Fund’s structure and implementation and is an opportunity for stakeholders to have their say in the delivery of a key element of the New Car Plan;
• The release of Ministerial guidelines for the Automotive Industry Structural Adjustment Program (AISAP). The program will support automotive supply chain companies that want to consolidate through mergers and acquisitions. It will create a stronger supply base for the automotive industry by assisting the industry to retain core capabilities and achieve greater scale;
• The appointment of members of the Automotive Industry Innovation Council, which will be chaired by Dr David Charles, a former Secretary of the Department of Industry, Technology and Commerce.
“The commercialisation of new technologies in Australia is a key feature of the Green Car Innovation Fund, which will focus on reducing vehicle fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions,” Carr said.
“The framework paper outlines the proposed key elements of the fund, such as: the size of grants available, who is eligible to apply, when applications can be lodged, and how applications will be assessed. Stakeholder feedback will inform development of implementation guidelines for the Green Car Innovation Fund.”
Visit www.innovation.gov.au/aisap for information about the fund.