Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

Micro-X raises cash, accelerates product commercialisation

Cold cathode X-ray machine manufacturer Micro-X has raised $4 million in a placement including from all four substantial shareholders and will embark on a share purchase plan to raise a further $1 million. The raising is being made at 9.5 cents a share, a 17 percent discount to the last traded price on the ASX. Following the announcement Micro-X’s shares were trading at 10 cents. The raising will be used to accelerate the commercial launch of the company’s Argus backscatter X-ray machine for detection of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The company has $6.85 in cash and is supported with $14.2 million in future contracted payments and an expected $4 million from a R&D tax incentive rebate.

Siemens announces summit for July

Engineering company Siemens announced their Beyond 1% Summit this week, billing it as “a national event with global and local  thought leaders”. The event will be held in Sydney on July 3 and 4 and “unite leading industry, government and academia” to focus on “opportunities with technology and digitalisation to grow business, strengthen the economy and contribute in a greater way to decarbonising the world.” The company said it expected over 400 participants at the two-day event, which will feature speakers including the following: Stephan May, CEO of Siemens’ global Electrification & Automation division (pictured); Bronwyn Fox, Chief Scientist, CSIRO; Rajat Kulshrestha, CEO & Co-Founder, Space Machines Company; and David Chuter, Executive Director, Industry Growth, Department of Industry. “Australia is responsible for about 1% of the global emissions. Our Net Zero 2050 commitment means that by 2050 the nation will have addressed those emissions,” said Peter Halliday, CEO of Siemens Australia and New Zealand “Embracing key technologies including digitalisation gives us the opportunity to really punch above our weight when it comes to the clean energy transition and the broader topic of decarbonising the world.” More information is available here.

Firebrick Pharma Debuts Nasodine in US

ASX-listed Firebrick Pharma has launched its nasal spray product, Nasodine Nasal Spray in the United States, the first country where the product is commercially available. Nasodine contains a broad-spectrum antiseptic agent called PVP-iodine, Firebrick said, “best known for its widespread use in throat gargles under the Betadine brand. With Nasodine, the same ingredient is now available in a nasal spray.” The product will be promoted in the US for ‘nasal hygiene’, and as the company won’t be making any therapeutic claims, it can be marketed without FDA approval. “Nasodine will be the only PVP-iodine nasal spray in the US that is supported by proven safety in clinical trials and a growing list of peer-reviewed publications,” said Firebrick Executive Chairman, Dr Peter Molloy. “Our position has always been that if we can make Nasodine available, people will use it.” Nasodine is not approved for sale in Australia, the company added, though the product may be purchased from the US website and imported for personal use under the TGA’s Personal Importation Scheme.

Little Green Pharma hits record quarterly revenue

This week medicinal cannabis business Little Green Pharma announced record quarterly cash receipts of $8.1 million, up over 50 per cent on previous quarter and over 20 per cent on previous corresponding period. In a statement the company claimed record revenue of $25.6 million (unaudited) for FY24, “up nearly 30 per cent on previous financial year resulting in positive operating cashflow” of $0.5 million for the financial year. It also reported cash in bank of $5.0 million at March 31, up from $3.7 million at December 31. LGP has two production sites for manufacturing its own-branded and white-label ranges of GMP-grade medicinal cannabis products, one in Denmark with a potential nameplate capacity of over 30 tonnes of cannabis biomass per annum, and a Western Australian premium indoor GMP production facility specialising in premium hand-crafted cannabis strains.

Scimita seeks process engineer

Sydney-based technology development and commercialisation business Scimita Ventures is seeking a Process Engineer. The company said it requires “a highly skilled Process Engineer to join our dynamic team and make critical contributions to our scale-up and innovation projects” adding that the role “encompasses the application of cutting-edge modelling and process simulation tools to ensure the seamless transition of technologies from the laboratory to commercial scale.” More information is available at the job listing here. Scimita was highly commended at Thursday’s Australia’s 50 Most Innovative Manufacturers event, held by @AuManufacturing.

Qenos collapse a result of consistent policy inaction on gas: Chemistry Australia

Plastics manufacturer Qenos  — which operates factories at Sydney and Melbourne and employs about 700 — appointed McGrathNicol as administrators this week. Industry body Chemistry Australia said Qenos is the country’s only manufacturer of polyethylene, and had made an important contribution to the Australian economy for more than 50 years. “We as a sector find ourselves in this position due to the consistent failure to address the competitiveness of Australian gas as a feedstock and energy source in this country,” said Chemistry Australia CEO Samantha Read. “The chemistry industry will play a significant role in the transition to a circular and net zero economy. As a nation, it is imperative that we address the fundamental policy settings impacting ongoing investment and the cost of manufacturing in Australia.”

NCVER names new MD

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has announced the appointment of its new Managing Director, John King, effective July this year. The organisation’s Chair, Dr Ruth Shean, said, “John brings extensive experience and a deep understanding of the VET sector through his senior roles in both the Victorian and South Australian governments. John also has an extensive background in data analytics and research including through his recent role as Chief Data Officer at Seer Data and Analytics for the last 12 months.” NCVER will continue to be led by Managing Director Simon Walker until King begins in the role.

Picture: supplied

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