The Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, has announced enhanced support for manufacturing under the Commercialisation Australia program.


New funding guidelines, foreshadowed in December, deliver more generous arrangements for early stage commercialisation (ESC) grant recipients needing to establish manufacturing facilities in Australia to fully commercialise their invention.


Where a pilot manufacturing plant is required to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of producing innovative products or services, the entire cost of establishing the plant, rather than just the depreciation, is now deemed eligible expenditure.


"A healthy manufacturing sector is important to Australia's future wealth and employment opportunities. Commercialisation Australia is supporting a number of innovative manufacturing and engineering processes that have applications across Australia's economy. The new arrangements will help strengthen this vital sector," Mr Combet said.


The new rules coincide with the announcement of two new board members: Brisbane-based manufacturing expert Christine Bridges-Taylor and Adelaide-based biotechnology authority Dr Leanna Read.


Ms Bridges-Taylor is General Manager at B&R Enclosures, a family owned and operated company specializing in the manufacture and supply of electrical products designed for Australian conditions, and has extensive experience in managing manufacturing entities.


Dr Leanna Read was a member of the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council for six years and the founding Managing Director and CEO of biotechnology company, TGR BioSciences Pty Ltd from 2001 - 2011. She is currently a member of BioAngels, an Adelaide-based Angel investor network.


The two new appointments will replace existing board members Mr Nixon Apple and Dr Katherine Woodthorpe. Mr Apple has recently taken up a position on the Clean Technology Innovation Committee of Innovation Australia and is currently serving on the Prime Minister's Manufacturing Taskforce.


Dr Woodthorpe is leaving to devote more time to her roles as the Chief Executive of the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCAL), and Chair of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre.