The Federal Government has awarded $55m in grants to 86 businesses across the country under round two of the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund (MMF).

South Australia-based Tindo Solar – Australia’s only manufacturer of solar panels – was one of the companies awarded a grant. It will receive $1m towards its $5.3m state-of-the-art-solar panel production facility. The company will produce panels specifically designed for Australian conditions and estimates up to 60 jobs will be created by the project.

“Tindo Solar was successful in securing a grant from the MMF Round 2,” said Shayne Jaenisch, Chief Executive Officer of Tindo. “The grant will be instrumental in completing our new manufacturing facility at Mawson Lakes, and installing a new world-class production line that will be used to make the latest generation solar modules.”

Jaenisch said Tindo Solar had less than 1.0% of the Australian solar panel market, and it competed with high-volume, low-priced solar panels from China: “We have a growing and successful business because we produce high-quality solar panels that are suited to the Australian climate, and which produce reliable power at the claimed rating for 25 years. Even though we can’t compete on price with Chinese imports, there is a market for high-quality panels and this government grant helps us to invest in innovation and productivity, and in jobs.”

In Western Australia, Bonissimo Coffee Roasters will use its grant to help reduce the number of plastic-lined coffee cups and coffee pods ending up in landfill by installing $1.4m worth of new equipment to manufacture cups and pods made from bio-polymers that are 100% organic and fully compostable. The upgrade will also enable the company to increase its coffee pod production six-fold, allowing it to hire more staff and pursue new export opportunities for its premium coffee products.

Other successful projects include: a lightweight digital health sensor produced in Queensland that sticks to the skin and can provide early warning of cardiac issues and a brewery expansion in New South Wales that will use world-leading thermal energy storage to reduce power consumption and chemical use.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said MMF funding helps business to modernise their manufacturing processes, which improves productivity, reduces costs, enables them to target new export opportunities and creates highly-skilled manufacturing jobs.

“Australia’s manufacturing sector is vitally important to our economy, directly employing more than 900,000 Australian workers and contributing almost $120 billion to our export earnings last year,” Porter said. “That’s why the Morrison Government is backing manufacturing businesses like Bonissimo in WA and 85 others right across the country with significant financial support to help them to modernise, innovate and grow.

“Investing in the latest manufacturing technology and equipment helps them to remain internationally competitive by improving their productivity and increasing their capacity to target new export markets for their products. Just as importantly, these investments also help to grow well-paid and highly skilled jobs in the modern manufacturing sector for Australian workers.

“We know that for every manufacturing job we create, at least three additional jobs are created in other areas of our economy.”

Examples of projects funded under round two of the MMF include:

  • Garlo’s Pies Pty Ltd (NSW) will receive $746,571 towards a $2.96m upgrade of its production facilities that will enabling it to increase production of pie products to 8,000 units per hour. The project will create up to 27 new jobs and enable the company to pursue export opportunities for its products.
  • Currumbin Minerals (QLD) will receive $934,686 to establish a $3.8m minerals sands processing facility using world leading electrostatic and magnetic heavy minerals separation processes to enable more efficient separation of heavy minerals and rare earths.
  • Medipharm Labs Australia (Vic) will receive $466,577 towards a $1.866m upgrade of production facilities enabling it to increase production and greatly increase the purity of its medicinal cannabis products.
  • First Graphene will use its $759,000 grant to carry out a $3m upgrade of its graphene drying, blending and packaging facilities at its headquarters in Henderson. Graphene has a range of uses in the mining, automotive and battery industries and the company intends to significantly boost production to capitalise on growing global demand.

MMF round two, which builds upon the success of the first round, was a competitive merit based grants program, with applications assessed by a committee of independent industry experts. Businesses are required to match government funding on a three-to-one basis, with government grants covering up to 25% of eligible project expenditure. The minimum grant amount is $100,000 and the maximum grant amount is $1,000,000. Projects must be completed within two years.

The grants are part of the $1.5bn Modern Manufacturing Strategy and eligible companies need to demonstrate that their products align with one of the Government’s six National Manufacturing Priorities (NMPs). Those priorities are Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing, Food and Beverage, Medical Products, Recycling and Clean Energy, Defence and Space.

For a full list of successful recipients under the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund round two, visit: