Palaszczuk Government funding to help NQ manufacturers innovate

Published Tuesday, 24 January, 2023 at 02:59 PM

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water
The Honourable Glenn Butcher

North Queensland manufacturers will be able to save valuable time and money developing new products, thanks to a program being delivered by the Palaszczuk Government, in conjunction with James Cook University.

Minister for Manufacturing Glenn Butcher announced the Commercial Manufacturing Accelerator Voucher Scheme, at the specialised JCU test facility this morning, alongside local MP Aaron Harper.

“This is going to help local manufacturers take their business to the next level, by offering them up to $25,000 to develop, test and modify prototypes, before going to production.

“Right now, there’s a gap in support for local manufacturers who want to develop and test innovative products that can help them move to Industry 4.0 technology, in line with our Advanced Manufacturing roadmap.

“Manufacturing is one of the most valuable sectors to Queensland’s economy and we know that this pilot program will help create and support even more good jobs and better services.”

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper congratulated JCU on working closely with the Palaszczuk Government and RDMW department, to develop the voucher program.

“I’m proud to be part of a Government that’s investing in the Townsville region, to help local businesses create good jobs and better services,” Mr Harper said.

“This fantastic James Cook University building boasts extensive workshop facilities and we know they’re the best people for the job; leading the way, from right here in our backyard.”

Resources Minister and Townsville MP Scott Stewart said the workshop has already had successful outcomes.

“Several Queensland Government agencies have used this innovation hub, including building a remote-control dingo for Queensland Parks and Wildlife.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing what else our great local businesses can come up with inside these walls.”

The Palaszczuk Government has worked closely with James Cook University to develop the voucher program, which will provide targeted support to regional businesses, so they can receive help from JCU researchers and testing facilities.

JCU Vice Chancellor Professor Simon Biggs said the University was delighted to take part in the Commercial Manufacturing Accelerator Voucher Scheme, through its innovation hub known as Area 61.

“Area 61 has proved to be an important player in JCU’s innovation community, three years after it began, making unique, one-off research equipment.

“Area 61 has expanded to provide a unique service to industry across northern Queensland, enabling co-design and collaboration through our rapid prototyping facility,” he said.

“From designing conveyor belts to accurately counting crops for pineapple farmers to developing technology monitoring the effects of temperature changes on ants, Area 61 designs and manufactures items that require a combination of skills and resources across software, electronics and advanced manufacturing.”

The $250,000 program provides funding of up to $25,000 per business - to be matched by suitable candidates - to accelerate the development of their working prototype, towards commercial manufacturing. The program delivers a better pathway for research and development to North Queensland manufacturers. 

Interested local manufacturers should contact the Townsville Manufacturing Hub:


Emilia Hutchinson - 0437 060 435