Northern Territory’s Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem Fund launches as appreciation of NT manufacturing rises the fastest within Australia

The Northern Territory (NT) Government in partnership with the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) has opened applications to the total $7.5 million Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem Fund (AMEF) as appreciation for local manufacturing rises in the Territory.

The Fund delivers on the recommendations from the Territory Economic Reconstruction Report, and will leverage AMGC’s experience in successfully increasing Australia’s manufacturing capability. With a focus on expanding manufacturing in the NT, co-investments will target local projects that seek to:

  • grow an advanced manufacturing ecosystem and capability in the NT across the Territory’s priority sectors; and
  • increase investment in advanced manufacturing activity in NT, and secure a greater number of advanced manufacturing jobs located in the NT.
  • commercialise new products and processes, including transitioning a new product or process from pilot/prototype stage to full commercial operations; and/or
  • support early-stage small scale and pilot research projects in advanced manufacturing, allowing them to more quickly move to larger-scale commercialisation.

Funding will range from $25,000 up to $500,000 (or more based on scale and impact), and must be matched by industry. Projects should include collaboration with a research partner and a minimum of one industry partner.

Further information regarding the Fund, the application process and grant guidelines are available at

The launch of the Fund coincides with the latest AMGC research finding that appreciation of local manufacturing in Territory rose the quickest of any Australian region. Comparing data collected in early 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, to today, AMGC has contrasted the awareness and attitudes toward local manufacturing showing that support is higher compared to pre-pandemic times.

AMGC’s Perceptions of Australian Manufacturing Report has evidenced that Territorians support for, and knowledge of, manufacturing is the highest of anywhere in mainland Australia, rising by 33 per cent, to 83 per cent over the pre-pandemic survey.

Nationally, the research evidenced that manufacturing is highly regarded by the public, viewed as vital to our nation’s economy, and is critical to maintaining our high living standards. Yet, the full impact of the industry is misunderstood and mismeasured.

The report states that having a holistic view of manufacturing and its impact is crucial, as it affects everything from people’s understanding of our economy to their purchasing decisions and career choices – the latter being highly significant given current skills shortages.

Data highlighted in the report includes:

  • 72% (+7% from 2019) of Australians believe manufacturing is important, or very important to the economy. (Page 9)
  • Double the number of respondents believe manufacturing will get stronger in the coming years, compared to responses in 2019. (Page 20)
  • 79% of Australians perceive trade and export of manufactured goods are important to the economy. (Page 9)
  • Tasmania (86%), Northern Territory (83%), South Australia (76%) and Western Australia (76%) rate manufacturing more highly than the Eastern States. (Page 10)
  • Manufacturing is perceived as the 7th most important industry to the Australian economy (+4 from 2019) relative to other industries. [NB: the top six industries listed also contain manufacturing activities]. (Page 12)
  • 80% of Australians believe it is important to purchase local products where possible. (Page 18)
  • 63% believe these products are of higher quality and 58% noted that locally made products were worth paying a premium for. (Page 18)
  • Almost half of the respondents view Australian manufacturing as high-tech and globally competitive. (Page 19)

Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Michael Gunner said, “We are Australia’s comeback capital, but we also want to be Australia’s innovation capital.

“Advanced manufacturing will be a major jobs driver of the future, and this new partnership will provide local manufacturers with the ability to turn their dreams into realities.

“By building up the Territory capabilities in advanced manufacturing, we are expanding industries and export opportunities, and creating new and exciting job opportunities for Territorians and investors,” said Gunner.

AMGC’s Northern Territory Director, Charmaine Barrett said, “The NT has a significant opportunity to leverage its vast natural resources, research talent, and manufacturing base to grow its impact both locally and abroad. The launch of the Advanced manufacturing Ecosystem Fund arrives at a time when public sentiment is high and the NT Government focus on the critical industry is strong, we look forward to getting to work and to helping build prosperity for Territorians.”

Managing Director for AMGC, Dr Jens Goennemann said, “The Northern Territory is certainly ahead of other jurisdictions, both in public perception and policy direction when it comes to investing in the potential of manufacturing,

“AMGC’s partnership with the Territory Government to grow the NT’s manufacturing ecosystem is a sound investment that will deliver secure jobs and higher growth to the Territory, helping to transform the local economy from a lucky one into a smart one,” said Goennemann.

To learn more about how Australian manufacturing is changing and the people driving the change; industry, media, students, teachers, professionals and parents are encouraged to visit any of AMGC’s vast resources: