Manufacturers in New South Wales’ Illawarra region are flocking for their share of $30 million made available by the government and BlueScope Steel to fund innovation.
[Image, right: Greg Combet.]
The Illawarra Region Innovation and Investment Fund has reportedly received 28 proposals by local manufacturers wanting a slice of the grant, which was created to help secure manufacturing jobs in the region.
Applicants must be able to match funding on at least a dollar-for-dollar basis.
The 28 proposals are currently being viewed by chairman of the Illawarra Region Innovation and Investment Fund advisory committee, Robert Terpening from Bisalloy Steel Group Limited.
Those lucky enough to receive a sum will be announced in March.
According to Federal Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, the strong interest the fund is receiving from local businesses has the capacity to generate $95 million of investment in the region.
“The Illawarra Region Innovation and Investment Fund is strengthening the region by stimulating co-investment opportunities and diversifying its economic and employment base,” he said.
“The interest in the Illawarra Fund is enormously promising. It shows that there are lots of firms ready and willing to invest in the region.
“Although the Illawarra Fund was created to respond to a challenge – the restructure of BlueScope Steel’s operations at Port Kembla – it has helped identify new, exciting opportunities for the region and its workers.”