Under the Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI), the federal government will invest over $36 million in five Australian medical manufacturing companies, to reduce reliance on overseas suppliers for vital medications.
The projects will help build Australian medical manufacturing capability and boost front-line defences against COVID-19, minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said.
“Quality medical products are central to any healthy society, but they can also be a centrepiece of a dynamic economy. That’s why we are supporting our manufacturers to grow and realise their potential in this expanding sector,” Porter said.
Delivered through the Translation and Integration streams, $3 million of the funding will upscale the Sentinel COVID-19 screening system, manufactured in Perth by Avicena Systems.
The screening system can be used to rapidly test over 90,000 per day. It can be deployed at border checkpoints and airports and provide results in 35 minutes, enough time to prevent an infectious person from boarding a flight.
“Products like Avicena’s screening system, which has broader infectious disease testing applications beyond COVID-19, also have the potential to create significant export earnings,” Porter said.
Noumed Pharmaceuticals, based in South Australia, is one of Australia’s largest pharmaceuticals suppliers but currently manufactures its products offshore. The company will receive $20 million to construct a $85 million manufacturing facility for prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Noumed Pharmaceuticals’ new facility will enable its operations to become self-sufficient and create new jobs for workers in the region.
“Importantly, our investments through our Modern Manufacturing Initiative are also helping to deliver strong job growth, with projects such as Noumed’s in South Australia set to create hundreds of opportunities for local workers,” Porter said.
“Australia has already been a pioneer with the cochlear implant, the green whistle pain reliever and the cervical cancer vaccine – now it’s time we back the next great Aussie medical success story.”
Other successful Australian medical manufacturing funding recipients include:
- Cyclowest in Western Australia received $2.5 million in funding to upscale its facility with a cyclotron, which produces therapy radiopharmaceuticals that help clinicians diagnose medical conditions, including cancer.
- Vaxxas in Queensland received $4.4 million in funding to increase production of its patch vaccination device, worn on the skin like a band-aid to deliver vaccines into the bloodstream.
- GBS (APAC) in NSW received $6.3 million in funding to build a new medical device manufacturing facility and commercialise diagnostic test technology.
The MMI is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy, made to position Australia as a globally recognised, high-quality and sustainable manufacturing nation.
To learn more about the Modern Manufacturing Strategy and the MMI, visit www.industry.gov.au/manufacturing.