Fifteen manufacturing businesses to share $19m in government funding

Fifteen companies from Victoria and South Australia have been named as recipients of nearly $19 million worth of grants under the second and final phase of the government’s Advanced Manufacturing Growth Fund.

Recipients of the grants include BNNT Technology, which will receive a $1.4 million grant to help produce its boron nitride nanotubes on an industrial scale. So far, the super fibres have only been produced in small laboratory-scale quantities.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews, said the grants will allow BNNT Technology to become the first in the world to commercially develop the fibres – a product with applications in the aviation, automotive, aerospace, power, electronics and health industries.

The $47.5 million fund was set up in the 2017-18 Budget as part of a $100 million package to support advanced manufacturing, and the grants have been targeted at those areas worst effected by the closure of the nations automotive assembly plants.

“These grants will help companies transition from traditional, heavy processes to advanced manufacturing of higher value products, creating new opportunities and new jobs.”

She added that the grants were expected to result in an additional investment of $45 million from the successful businesses.

“These businesses show the potential of Australian manufacturing: our firms and our workers can make high-tech, high-value products that can compete in a global market,” said Minister Andrews.

“These grants are an example of business and government working together to ensure that our nation is at the cutting edge in the rapidly evolving manufacturing sector.”

Other successful applicants in the second and final funding round include South Australian companies Micro-X and Bickford’s and Victorian company Rutra.

Micro-X is a manufacturer of novel x-ray products for medical and security applications. The grant to Micro-X is to help develop locally produced components.

Bickford’s is a beverage manufacturer. The company will use the grant to help develop a liquid batching process that will enable faster flows and greater volume flexibility in production.

Rutra’s project will use 3D digital manufacturing in the production of custom-made orthotics in its Footwork Podiatric Laboratory.

Companies which received funding in the first round of grants have already started buying advanced manufacturing equipment and designing and preparing their factories for the changes.

For example, Redarc Australia, a defence supplier in South Australia, is already installing equipment it has purchased.