Australian businesses wanting to play their part in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic will have greater access to potential partners and customers following the launch of a new industry site backed by the federal government.
Developed by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), the COVID-19 Manufacturer Response Register will bring together manufacturers, suppliers and customers via a self-managed platform.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said finding a solution to connect local supply and demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) was at the forefront of the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
“Industry asked for this and we have delivered. This digital platform is the missing puzzle piece that will unlock widespread collaboration across the manufacturing sector and boost domestic capability by creating and expanding local supply chains,” Andrews said.
“The matchmaking platform has already resulted in local businesses pivoting to produce essential medical supplies for COVID-19 – keeping Australians in work and building long term capability in the recovery phase.
“Importantly, the platform can be used by hospitals, GPs and community groups to find Australian suppliers of essential products such as hand sanitiser, ventilators and PPE not just now but into the future as well.
“I have said right throughout this pandemic that I don’t want Australian production of essential medical supplies to be a flash in the pan. This needs to be capability that industry maintains well after we come out the other side.”
The platform will initially combine AMGC’s COVID-19 Manufacturer Response Register database of 2500 submissions with a further 600 local businesses identified through the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources’ recent Request for Information on PPE production capability.
AMGC managing director Dr Jens Goennemann said the willingness of Australian manufacturers to support the current crisis demonstrates the strength of the industry.
“Australian manufacturers are highly skilled, resilient and willing, and this enhanced platform allows them to continue to support the COVID-19 response while offering their services to a broader range of potential customers,” Dr Goennemann said.
“Collaboration is key to the manufacturing industry’s continued success and we encourage manufacturers, suppliers and customers to leverage the platform to benefit all participants.
“We want to ensure that the overwhelming offers of support from manufacturers, suppliers and individuals live as a resource and continue to provide solutions long after this pandemic.”
The capability matching feature of the platform allows companies to post a need, solution or capability online, which would be shared on a live community feed.
The supply matching feature helps suppliers connect with organisations looking for crucial supplies across the manufacturing value chain, be it research, design, production or service and support.
In April a survey conducted by Accord, the national hygiene industry representative body, highlighted the supply challenges manufacturers are experiencing for essential ingredients and materials needed for hand sanitiser production, including ethanol, isopropanol, bottle pumps and sprays.
It followed the introduction of new legislation by the Australian Government Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to make it easier for local businesses to produce and supply hand sanitiser.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 an increasing number of Australian businesses, including breweries and distilleries, have joined the fight against COVID-19 by recently commencing local production of hand sanitiser.
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