Federal government announces grants for new manufacturing projects

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Industry Minister Christian Porter has announced a total of $36 million for grants in new medical product manufacturing projects.

Medical products are one of the federal government’s six National Manufacturing Priorities and the funding has been delivered through the Translation and Integration streams of the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI).

The funding – to be shared by five companies – includes $3 million to help Perth-based Avicena Systems scale up manufacturing of its Sentinel COVID-19 screening system, which can be used to rapidly test more than 90,000 people every day.

In South Australia, Noumed Pharmaceuticals will receive $20 million towards the construction of a new $85 million state facility for prescription and over-the-counter medications. 

Minister Porter said the projects will help to build sovereign capability in this important sector.

“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,” he said.

“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.

“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.

“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 projects are:

  • Cyclowest in WA, which will use its $2.5 million in funding to scale up its facility with a state-of-the-art cyclotron, which produces therapy radiopharmaceuticals that contribute to helping clinicians diagnose medical conditions, including cancer;
  • Vaxxas in Queensland will use its $4.4 million in funding to ramp up production of its world-leading patch vaccination device that is worn on the skin like a band-aid to deliver vaccines into the bloodstream; and,
  • GBS (APAC) in NSW, which will use its $6.3 million in funding to build a new medical device manufacturing facility to enable the commercialisation of technology for diagnostic tests.