Six Industries — resources technology and critical minerals, food beverages, medical products, recycling and clean energy, space, and defence — have all been promised a piece of the Australian government’s AU$1.5 billion manufacturing revitalisation package over the next four years, starting in 2021.
“The objective is to build scale and capture income in high value areas of manufacturing where Australia either has established competitive strength or emerging priorities,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, during his pre-budget speech at the National Press Club on Thursday.
“This will require our manufacturing sector to be even more productive and highly skilled, to be more collaborative at the leading edge of R&D, commercialisation, and technology adoption, to be more outward-looking, and be searching relentlessly for footholds in global markets.”
Of the AU$1.5 billion, which is the latest pledge by the Morrison government ahead of the federal budget next Tuesday, AU$1.3 billion will be used to encourage businesses to collaborate with other businesses, commercialise ideas, and integrate with international markets and supply chains.
Morrison added, the government will target priority areas and invest in “cross-cutting technologies and processes that enhance production efficiencies, such as automation digitalisation data analytics, artificial intelligence, and other enabling technologies which make everything else work”.
Another AU$52.8 million will be distributed for the federal government’s existing manufacturing modernisation fund designed to support “transformational investment in technologies and processes”.
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Morrison added the government will partner with industry before April next to draw up plans for the next two, five, and 10 years. These plans will also include benchmarks such as how many jobs are created, what are the levels of R&D, and how much investment has been made.
The modern manufacturing strategy also includes AU$50 million for the