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Co-investment plan released for first of seven National Reconstruction Fund priority areas

Manufacturing News

The federal government has released its Medical Science Co-investment Plan, following the announcement of a proposed Future Made in Australia Act in response to international attempts to shore up domestic industry.

The co-investment plan, released on Monday morning, identifies “a broad range of high-value investment opportunities” in medical technology, according to a statement, as well as ways to create better commercial outputs from a sector where Australia performs strongly in research.

Health and medical research in Australia exists in an ecosystem with 1,200 biotech companies, 55 medical research institutes and 40 medical research-focussed universities, according to the release. However, medical manufacturing only contributes 0.3 per cent to GDP.  

Industry minister Ed Husic said too many “great Australian ideas” had gone overseas and been made into products that the nation then imports.

“Gardasil is a prime example of the terrible cost of lost opportunity, brilliant Australian medical research ended up being manufactured overseas because we didn’t have the capabilities to make it here,” said Husic.

“As the National Reconstruction Fund works to revitalise manufacturing in key priority areas, we need a clear picture of the challenges and opportunities we face in each sector.

“This and the other co-investment plans to come underpin our commitment to a Future Made in Australia, giving us a guide to what we can do to boost sovereign capability and tackle supply chain challenges.”

It is the first of seven co-investment plans to be released across the federal government’s National Reconstruction Fund priority investment areas, including value-add in resources; value-add in agriculture, forestry and fisheries; transport; renewables and low emission technologies; defence capability; and enabling capabilities.

Prime minister Anthony Albanese broadly outlined the purpose of a new Future Made in Australia Act, which he said will be created this year, at a speech to the Queensland Media Club on Thursday. 

Few policy details were shared, and these are expected in the lead up to the budget. However, the speech from the PM included a pledge that the federal government no longer be “an observer or a spectator – we will be a participant, a partner, an investor and enabler.”

It follows the United States’ Inflation Reduction Act, which could cost around $US 1 trillion over its planned decade-long lifespan, and offers tax credits for capital expenditure and production costs for renewable energy technologies.

The new medical science plan was created through “consultation across government, industry, peak bodies, academia and unions” according to Husic, and can be accessed here

Picture: Ed Husic (credit

Further reading

Albanese flags government intervention to back industry

Can Canberra arrest the flow of manufacturers leaving for the US?

A Future Made in Australia – Anthony Albanese in his own words

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