The Australian government will invest $1.5 billion over the next four years in a new Modern Manufacturing Strategy that’s designed to make Australian manufacturers more competitive, resilient and able to scale-up to take on the world.
The centrepiece of the Strategy is the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI), which will see strategic investment by the Government in projects that help manufacturers to scale up and create jobs.
The MMI will support projects within six National Manufacturing Priority sectors that reflect Australia’s established competitive advantages or emerging areas of priority:
- Resources technology and critical minerals processing
- Food and beverage
- Medical products
- Recycling and clean energy
“This is about Australia playing to its strengths and the Government strategically investing in areas of manufacturing where we know we have an edge and that can deliver the jobs we need,” Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said.
Industry will be engaged to co-design tailored road maps for each of the priority sectors to set clear goals over the next two, five and 10 years, and identify the barriers and opportunities that will guide action and investment.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison launched the Strategy in a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra on 1 October. It forms part of his government’s plan to rebuild the economy, create jobs and help recovery from the COVID-19 recession.
“We make things in Australia. We do it well. We need to keep making things in Australia. And with this strategy, we will,” he said. “The COVID crisis opens a new chapter for Australian manufacturing as a revitalised source of high-wage jobs, valuable exports and national income.
“Our Modern Manufacturing Strategy is at the heart of our JobMaker plan. It starts with creating a stable and competitive business environment to grow our all parts of our manufacturing sector. Through this Strategy, we are determined to ensure government, industry and the research and education sectors are all working in the one direction to build scale in our manufacturing sector.”
The Strategy will also address the competitiveness of individual manufacturers in Australia’s priority sectors, with a $52.8 million expansion of the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund.
The COVID-19 crisis has also highlighted the need to better understand and address supply chain issues and opportunities. A $107.2 million Supply Chain Resilience Initiative will support projects that address an identified supply chain vulnerability.
Innovation and Science Australia will be repurposed as Industry Innovation and Science Australia, to provide a long-term perspective on growing the manufacturing sector and strong industry advice to Government throughout the implementation of the Strategy.
The Government is also comprehensively reviewing existing industry programs to better align them with the strategy. As part of this, it will provide an additional $50 million to the Industry Growth Centres initiative to support projects in the priority areas out until the end of June 2022.