The Morrison Government is backing Australian manufacturing, as well as the science and research that underpins it, as part of our Economic Recovery Plan to lead the nation out of the COVID-19 crisis by creating the jobs needed now and for generations to come.

The 2020-21 Budget includes an investment of $1.5 billion over four years for the Modern Manufacturing Strategy to allow Australian manufacturers to scale up, compete internationally and create more jobs.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, said the investments highlight the Government’s commitment to making science and technology work for industry, which is a key pillar of the Modern Manufacturing Strategy.

“A resilient and competitive manufacturing sector should be at the heart of a modern Australian economy and this Strategy will create jobs, drive our economy forward and make Australia more secure.”

“When you combine our new Modern Manufacturing Strategy with the increased funding for the CSIRO, you have a powerful base from which to turbo-charge job creation,” Minister Andrews said.

The centrepiece of the Modern Manufacturing Strategy is the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative, which will see the Government strategically invest in projects that help manufacturers to scale up and create jobs.

“We are putting our money where our mouth is, to galvanise investment in Australian manufacturing,” Minister Andrews said.

The Modern Manufacturing Initiative will support projects within six National Manufacturing Priorities: resources technology and critical minerals processing, food and beverage, medical products, recycling and clean energy, defence, and space.

Industry will be engaged to help develop tailored road maps for each of the priority sectors.

The Strategy will also address the competitiveness of individual manufacturers in our priority sectors, with a $52.8 million expansion of the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund.

Earlier this year the Government invested $48.3 million to support around 200 projects worth $215 million, which are expected to create 2,600 jobs.

The COVID-19 crisis has also highlighted supply chain issues and opportunities. A $107.2 million Supply Chain Resilience Initiative will support projects that address an identified supply chain vulnerability.

The Budget also includes an additional $459.2 million in funding for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) over four years to address the impacts of COVID-19 on its commercial activities and ensure it is able to continue essential scientific research.

The 2020-21 Budget also includes measures to support the goal of Australia becoming a leading digital economy by 2030, with $29.7 million to help Australian businesses better use digital tools to readjust their operations and processes in a post-COVID economy.

This investment will accelerate the adoption of digital technologies by businesses, create jobs in sectors with high potential for growth, support the use of technology to make business regulatory compliance easier, and boost Australia’s influence over the development and deployment of digital standards.

The Government is committed to realising the potential of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The Budget includes:

  • $35.9 million to expand the Boosting Female Founders Initiative.
  • $10 million to extend the successful Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship grants program.
  • $2 million to extend the Women in STEM Ambassador initiative. This is also an important part of the Government’s Women’s Economic Security Statement.

The Government is also building sovereign capability in life-saving nuclear medicines with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) receiving an additional $238.1 million over the next four years.