Prime Minister Scott Morrison today announced resources technology and critical minerals processing as one of six priority areas the Federal Government will be directing funding and resources to following next Tuesday’s 2020 budget announcement.
This is good news for Australia’s METS sector and industry development more broadly. The $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy announced by the Prime Minister is front and centre of the Government’s JobMaker plan and focused on helping build the competitiveness, scale and resilience of Australia’s economy.
In a joint media release with Minister Karen Andrews, the Morrison Government is launching a new era for Australian Manufacturing. The initiative will leverage co-investment key areas of competitive advantage, including resources technology and critical minerals processing, as well as recycling and clean energy.
The centrepiece is the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) that will drive a lasting step change for Australian manufacturers and help them scale-up, collaborate and commercialise good ideas. The Australian Government is also committing $52.8 million to a second round of the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund. This second round builds on the popular and successful first round of the program. Funds can be used to take on new employees, upskill workers and invest in new technology.
The strategy is a key pillar of a broader program to get the economic conditions right and work with industry to deliver initiatives that drive innovation and the competitiveness of Australian businesses. By playing to our strengths, strategically investing and harnessing our world-class science and technology, we can open up new markets and take more of our quality products to the world.
Enabling digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, block chain and cyber security will also play a pivotal role in unlocking our potential and enable our local manufacturers to create entirely new products, processes and business models.
The Prime Minister’s announcement recognised Australia’s mining equipment, technology services (METS) sector as already playing a key role in adding value beyond resource extraction.
The Government has committed to work with industry leaders to develop detailed and specific roadmaps for each sector spanning two, five and 10 years to maximise success in these areas of competitive advantage – drawing on the Industry Growth Centres’ sector competitiveness plans.
As the world’s leading mining economy, the technology developed by METS companies within Australia’s Resource Sector is a key area of competitive advantage. The Government has recognised and will capitalise on what is a clear and immediate opportunity, to leverage the technology experience we already have in our industry.
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 this Strategy.
METS Ignited Chief Executive Officer Adrian Beer said what is exciting about today’s announcement, is the recognition of the important role technology has played in our national strengths.
“The focus is now on ensuring that our world leading innovation, that enables these sectors, is productised and commercialised within our national economy. To achieve this, we must invest in our advanced manufacturing capability, to enable our local companies to bring to market the technologies and innovation that have emerged from industry partnerships within our research sector.”
The Government is also comprehensively reviewing existing industry programs to better align them with the Strategy. As part of this, they 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.
For more information;
The Joint Media Announcement can be found at: www.minister.industry.gov.au/ministers/karenandrews/media-releases/transforming-australian-manufacturing-rebuild-our-economy
To learn more about the Modern Manufacturing Strategy and its opportunities, please visit: www.industry.gov.au/manufacturing