Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien today announced a significant boost for a Noosa biotech start-up, with funding for world-first technology to extract highly valuable compounds from algae.

Australia’s first commercial algae processing facility Provectus Algae will receive $100,000 from the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund (MMF) towards a $350,000 project using algal photobioreactor capabilities to produce novel biologics and pharmaceuticals.

The Noosa-based biotech start-up produces compounds made from algae that are used in a wide array of industries and applications, including biologic treatments for infectious, inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases.

Mr O’Brien said the support came at a critical time for the local manufacturing sector and would enable Provectus Algae to continue its innovative work despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s more important than ever for Australian companies to look to unique opportunities like the biotechnology and to explore new business models, and I am pleased to see Provectus Algae is showing the world what can be achieved on Australian shores,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This investment from the Morrison Government will not only strengthen this business and create jobs, it will highlight the world-first innovation of manufacturers in Wide Bay, and it provides a much-needed confidence boost for the region as we face this unprecedented pandemic.”

In addition to the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund grant, Provectus Algae has also received a $250,000 Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre grant this year, funded by the Australian Government as well as $40,000 through the Accelerating Commercialisation Fund in 2018 to further develop a revolutionary algae lighting system for the global aquaculture market.

200 projects worth more than $215 million dollars are being supported through the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund (MMF). The Federal Government is contributing $48.3 million.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the projects are expected to create 2,600 Australian jobs and were about preparing Australian manufacturing beyond COVID-19 and the challenges of today.

“We established the MMF before the coronavirus pandemic to help small and medium-sized manufacturers invest in capital equipment and new technologies to transform and upgrade their manufacturing operations,” Minister Andrews said.

“Now as we face the coronavirus pandemic and look to come out the other side stronger, this investment will be more critical than ever.

“I am determined to further strengthen Australian manufacturing and the current pandemic gives us the opportunity as a nation to reassess and commit to the values of Australian-made goods.”

The MMF builds on other Federal Government investments in manufacturing growth and competitiveness, including the $100 million Advanced Manufacturing Fund, the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, and the $40 million Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre.

For more information on the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund visit www.business.gov.au/MMF


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