$1.3 billion manufacturing funding opens for medicines and medical devices

Health Industry Hub | March 1, 2021 |
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Medical News: The Morrison Government is backing Australia’s medical products manufacturers to grow and create new jobs, with applications for projects in the sector opening under the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI).

Medical Products is the second of the six National Manufacturing Priorities which will be supported under the MMI to help manufacturers to scale-up production, commercialise their products and operations, and integrate into domestic and global supply chains.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said co-funding from the MMI will drive forward industry-led projects in this priority area, greatly improve our self-sufficiency, and open up new export opportunities.

“This support will help us make more medical products right here at home – creating more skilled jobs for Australians and helping build a resilient and competitive manufacturing base at the heart of our economy,” Minister Andrews said.

“Australia has pioneered many commercially successful medical products that have made it on the world stage, including the cochlear implant, the green whistle pain reliever and the cervical cancer vaccine.

“Through the Modern Manufacturing Initiative, we’re supporting more manufacturers to turn their clever ideas and research into commercial outcomes, and harness global opportunities.”

The Chair & CEO of Arrotex Pharmaceuticals (Arrotex), Mr Dennis Bastas, has welcomed the Morrison Government’s prioritising of medicine manufacturing as a critical first step to protecting Australia’s most vulnerable patients against future global supply chain shocks.

As the founder of Australia’s largest pharmaceutical company and one of the few remaining Australian-owned pharmaceutical businesses; Mr Bastas is a key member of the taskforce advising the Minister for Industry on the National Medicine-Medical Product Manufacturing Priority Roadmap.

“It is my philanthropic intention to help the Australian Government solve a very deep economic and national security problem with a cost-effective solution that protects our most vulnerable Australians,” Mr Bastas said.

“Creating a domestic medicines manufacturing capability can mitigate the need for the Federal and State governments to each host an expensive stockpile of medicines and it will create an advanced technology export industry for generations of Australians to work in,” he added.

The medical products National Manufacturing Priority road map, released on 26 February 2021, will guide government and industry investment under the MMI, and focuses on keeping sophisticated manufacturing capability in Australia.

The road map highlights specific areas of investment opportunity including smart monitoring devices and diagnostics, personalised implants and bionics, high-value pharmaceuticals, biologics and complementary medicines, cutting-edge treatments like mRNA vaccines, regenerative medicine and genomics, as well as digital integrated products and platforms.

“This dynamic, industry-led road map sets out the vision for the sector with a focus on high-value opportunities that will position medical products manufacturers for long term growth,” Minister Andrews said.

“Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic showed the remarkable capability and expertise that already exists within our medical products manufacturing sector, as well as our potential for future success. 

“The MMI is focussed on scaling-up that capability – both to create economic opportunity and to ensure the supply of critical products during times of crisis.”

The $1.3 billion MMI is the centrepiece of the Government’s $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy, an action plan to position Australia as a globally recognised, high-quality and sustainable manufacturing nation.

The road maps in the remaining priority areas will be released in coming weeks to coincide with the opening of their respective MMI funding rounds. 

Funding available

The Modern Manufacturing Initiative is now open for medical product manufacturing projects that meet eligibility under its Translation and Integration streams.

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