Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Australia wants to boost its manufacturing capabilities, which could open opportunities for Wisconsin manufacturers and suppliers.
Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese is pledging a renewed emphasis on investing in manufacturing.
Albanese, elected in May, is allocating $15 billion AUD ($10.3 billion USD) to the National Reconstruction Fund. He says it is the first step toward rebuilding Australia’s industrial base and boosting its manufacturing capacity.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Australia ranks last among its 38 member countries for manufacturing self-sufficiency.
Albanese’s priorities for the new funding include:
- Powering Australia: Up to $3 billion AUD ($2.1 billion USD) in clean energy investments such as manufacturing wind turbine components and solar panels, researching new livestock feed to reduce methane emissions and developing packaging alternatives that reduce waste.
- Medical manufacturing: $1.5 billion AUD ($1.03 billion USD) to the makers of medical technologies, rapid antigen tests and vaccines. The federal government already has an agreement with Moderna to produce up to 100 million mRNA vaccines a year in Melbourne, starting in 2024.
- Advanced manufacturing: $1 billion AUD ($690 million USD) to promote innovation in transportation, defense, medical science, food processing, renewables and low-emission technologies.
State and local governments are also providing funds to encourage expansion and innovation in advanced manufacturing businesses within their boundaries. They include:
- Tasmania’s Advanced Manufacturing Acceleration Growth Grants program: $865,000 AUD ($595,000 USD) to 12 local companies for innovations in electronics, the Internet of Things, medical services, transportation and agricultural products.
- The New South Wales Advanced Manufacturing Research Facility in Sydney: $260 million AUD ($179 million USD) for the first national shared-use research facility to accelerate manufacturing capability of high-value components for use in next-generation medical, defense, aerospace and space technologies.
Wisconsin companies with unique, cutting-edge advanced manufacturing technology suitable for Australia’s medical, aerospace, defense, automotive or renewables sectors are encouraged to connect with WEDC for more information and explore options for an introductory teleconference with Wisconsin’s trade office in Australia.
International suppliers are generally most successful in Australia if they work with an in-country partner. Australian Manufacturing Week—an event taking place May 9-12, 2023, in Melbourne—will offer opportunities to further understand the current manufacturing sector and meet potential partners.