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The Morrison government’s planned investment to super-charge manufacturing and grow jobs is now open for business, with applications sought under the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI).

Businesses with projects in the space sector are the first to be able to apply for grants to help commercialise ideas or processes, or integrate into global supply chains.

According to Karen Andrews, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the MMI will build on the billions of dollars in investment to get the “economic conditions right and creating meaningful, long-term change for Australian manufacturing”.

“This matched government funding is designed to support our manufacturers to become competitive, resilient and scale-up to take on the world, which will in turn create jobs for Australians – both now and for generations to come,” explains Andrews.

“Funding from the MMI will help boost investment in the growth of the manufacturing under the MMI, an industry-led roadmap has also been released.

“This roadmap sets out our vision for manufacturing investment in the sector, which will complement the excellent work already being done by the Australian Space Agency to grow the economy and create jobs.”

Space is one of six National Manufacturing Priorities, with the remaining roadmaps to be released in coming weeks to coincide with the opening of their respective MMI funding rounds.

“From products launched into space like nano and small satellites, through to space components like sensors and communication arrays, Australia has a number of unique opportunities across space manufacturing,” Andrews continues.

“These opportunities are strengthened by our world-class research, our geographic location and existing advanced manufacturing expertise.”

The remaining roadmaps include Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing, Food and Beverage, Medical Products, Recycling and Clean Energy, and Defence.

The roadmaps will set out a 10-year vision for each of the National Manufacturing Priorities and form an integral part of the government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy, which aims to build Australia’s reputation as a reliable and high-value manufacturing nation.

“These roadmaps will continue to be built on over time to inform the long-term strategy and ensure we’re capturing new opportunities to grow these priority sectors and create jobs,” says Andrews.

Initial applications will be limited to the Translation and Integration streams of the MMI, with expressions of interest for the larger Collaboration stream to open in coming months.

For more information on the roadmaps and available grant funding, click here.

Food & Drink Business

Biripi Capital, Australia’s first Aboriginal-owned private equity firm, has closed an initial tranche of $20 million investment from the Hudson Food Group. It is believed to be the largest impact investment into an Aboriginal business ever made in Australia.

The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation is calling for applications that address the 17 research, development & extension priorities identified by the fishing and aquaculture sector.

Regenerative food company Wide Open Agriculture has raised $20 million through institutional investors. It will use the funds to develop Western Australia’s first oat milk manufacturing plant.