The $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) is now open to food and beverage projects as the government attempts to double the value of the Australian sector by 2031.
The manufacturing fund was announced in October as the centrepiece of the government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy. It was developed to aid Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19 by helping manufacturers in six priority areas to scale-up, collaborate and commercialise their projects.
Companies involved in food and beverage manufacturing can now apply for the fund’s translation and integration streams, with applications for the larger collaboration stream to follow.
Industry minister Karen Andrews said the food and beverage manufacturing grants would unlock further investment and growth in what is already the biggest manufacturing sector in Australia.
“Investing in our food and beverage manufacturers will ensure they remain on the front foot and maximise every opportunity to tap into global markets and create jobs here at home,” Mrs Andrews said.
“To strengthen our economy, we need to make the most of our natural advantages in agriculture, and that means adding as much value as we can to raw materials through manufacturing.”
The first MMI program aimed at the space sector kicked off the fund in February, with programs for medical products, critical minerals, and now food and beverage following.
Programs for the remaining two priority areas areas – Defence, and Recycling and Clean Energy – are expected to be announced soon.
An industry led 10-year road map for the food and beverage sector was also released Monday, setting a goal to double the value of the local sector by 2031. According to the roadmap, this can be achieved by focusing smart food and beverage manufacturing; innovative foods and beverages; and food safety, origin and traceability systems.
The road map includes a two-year goal to increase the use of smart manufacturing, and onshore commercialisation and manufacturing.
Within five years, Australian manufacturers will be working together and using smart manufacturing to respond to emerging opportunities, consumer trends and market demands, under the plan.
By 2031, Australia’s food and beverage manufacturing value will have doubled under the plan, “cementing Australia’s reputation as ‘world-best’ supplier and manufacturer of premium, safe and authentic food”.
Agriculture minister David Littleproud said improving outcomes for Australian food and beverage manufacturers will also help the local agriculture industry.
“Australia already makes world class value-added products from fruit and vegetables, grain mill and cereals, dairy products and meat,” Mr Littleproud said.
“This funding will open up further opportunities for the development of new products and the expansion of existing product lines beyond the farm gate.
“That’s good for our farmers, our transport industry and the regional communities they all support.”
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