Bringing manufacturing home: government grants explained

Open IIoT
Tuesday, 24 November, 2020

Bringing manufacturing home: government grants explained

Both the public and private sectors have made their intentions known: it is time to take back Australia’s manufacturing.

In the past, Australia fell prey to long supply chains and outsourcing the majority of our goods and processes beyond our borders. Many skilled workers had left the country and the cost of labour was too high to compete. To boost manufacturing and our local GDP, Australia needs to become less reliant on international counterparts to ‘deliver the goods’.

As part of Open IIoT’s webinar series for 2020, each panel member hosted a discussion around a hot topic in the manufacturing sector. One such topic was that of ‘Government Assistance for Manufacturers’ by Jim Wallace, Sales Manager for Balluff Australia New Zealand.

When it comes to accessing government grants, ‘why, what, when, who, where and how’ all come to mind. Taking the guesswork out of this was made possible by Wallace and a special guest speaker who shared invaluable insights and relevant information with a host of webinar attendees.

“Budgets are always an issue when it comes to designing and deploying new projects and upgrades to existing projects,” said Wallace.

Government incentives and policies currently available

Shane Infanti, CEO of Australian Manufacturing Technology Institute Limited (AMTIL), joined the discussion as a guest speaker.

“AMTIL is an industry association in the manufacturing sector. We are comprised of 320 company members and 7000 associates,” he said. “It always amazes me that, while there are a host of policies to promote local manufacturing, they still seem to be a well-kept secret; many people aren’t familiar with the initiatives that are accessible to them.”

The government’s recent budget speech highlighted a $1.3 billion modern manufacturing initiative.

“Little detail is available at this stage, but government expects this to be in place from early next year,” said Infanti. “As part of this budget allocation, we are putting forward a technology diffusion program valued at $7 million for government’s consideration. This is set to run over the next three to five years and will promote new technologies and methodologies.”

Initiatives on offer are:

  • Manufacturing Modernisation Fund Round 2 (MMF): $52.8 million will be allocated to this hugely popular initiative. Funding will be made available before the end of 2020 and it will support around 150 firms in the priority sectors.
  • Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI): $107.2 million goes towards identifying and supporting vulnerable supply chains for critical products.
  • Industry Growth Centres Initiative: $50 million is allocated to support projects in priority areas until the end of June 2022.
  • Entrepreneurs’ Program: Support to businesses through facilitators and advisors in industry sectors, R&D, intellectual property and raising capital to gain global competitiveness.
  • R&D Tax Incentive: Tax offsets are made available for firms engaging in extensive R&D efforts.
  • Apprenticeship Subsidy: This is available to companies of all sizes across all industries who engage in an apprenticeship program from 5 October 2020 up until the cap is reached.

Note that there are specific criteria required to access these grants.

“Get expert advice,” suggested Infanti. “Chat to our team if you need help in connecting with the correct person and in accessing the relevant grants.

“There is also an export market grant of $207 million worth of funding for companies looking to explore export markets.”

Image credit: © Le Moal

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