A message from Jens Goennemann

It is my pleasure to share further good news about AMGC’s Commercialisation Fund.

At the beginning of July, AMGC had got $3.7 million of co-funded grants out the door, boosting carefully selected projects led by six outstanding manufacturers, and only three months after the Fund was announced. 

A month later the total is up to $7 million out the door, with a further $4.7 million in the assessment stage and $15.6 million about to go to Industry Minister Christian Porter for his endorsement. 

Thanks to our approach, honed over five years, and collaboration from DISER, we are well on the way to allocating all $30 million available through the Fund, strengthening the commercialisation efforts of Australian manufacturers across the six National Manufacturing Priorities.  

Our approach works. As an analysis last year of 78 projects since AMGC came into being: $66.8 million committed, expected revenue of $1.2 billion and more than 2,500 jobs created. ROI of $6 per every dollar invested – in other words: A no-brainer.

For the last two tranches, manufacturers invested more than double the grant amount. At this rate, the $30 million would look something like $100 million in investment in commercialisation. That will represent some serious activity and high-skilled jobs created once these projects are underway.

Two of the Commercialisation Fund projects we are supporting are led by Zella DC and Zero Co.

Zella DC is a micro data centre specialist, with resources industry customers in many countries. Assisted by a $406,550 grant, they are developing their next-generation data centre, an online system for customisable orders, and new production processes. 

The new product will be made of locally produced, lightweight, fire-resistant polymers instead of imported components, and create a projected 10 new jobs, to then will create a further 10 jobs a year after completion.

Zero Co is a company helping move the economy to improved circularity, collecting ocean plastics, and repurposing them in reusable packaging for cleaning and personal care products. Their project aims to achieve several world firsts, including development of a machine able to clean and sterilise up to 10,000 recycled plastic pouches a day.

Zero Co’s estimates 35 new jobs will be created during the project, then 20 full-time equivalent roles in 2023 – 2024.

Another thing that excites me about project, like the above, is the job multiplier effect manufacturing displays, which is far more profound than in most other industries – owing to the complexity and depth of manufacturing supply chains.

Depending on the company, as many as 10 downstream jobs might be created for every direct job created at a high-tech manufacturer. Scientists assume an average of about 3.6 indirect jobs per direct job in manufacturing.

For all the job numbers above, we can assume many others are created across these companies’ supply chains, often in companies the public wouldn’t count as manufacturers. Such is the importance of manufacturing as a capability to any economy.

One last thing, and something that caught my interest last week.

Interviewed by BusinessNews, Minister Porter made some encouraging comments about long-term thinking and needing to carefully focus support, not “spread our resources from the taxpayer too thinly.”

We are proud of what we have achieved so far, as an industry-led initiative trying to get the best manufacturing bang for the taxpayer buck. 

Projects are not “fund and forget,” as we work with companies from milestone to milestone, helping them achieve their ambitious goals or pull the plug otherwise. This is precisely what’s delivering superior outcomes.