Posted on 21. Oct, 2010 in Victoria

The Brumby Labor Government is providing $410,000 in grants to help three Melbourne companies improve their global competitiveness, save money on production costs and create local jobs.

Attending AusBiotech today, Innovation Minister Gavin Jennings and Industry and Trade Minister Jacinta Allan said the grants to medical diagnostics company Universal Biosensors, GlaxoSmithKline Australia and SGE Analytical Science would be provided through the Brumby Labor Government’s $11.4 million Competitive Business Fund (CBF).

The Competitive Business Fund helps strengthen Victoria’s leadership in biotechnology by fostering a competitive sector, building capability and promoting demand-driven development of new biotechnology products and devices.

“Melbourne is Australia’s biotechnology capital and one of the world’s leading biotechnology locations and these grants, with their emphasis on increasing competitiveness and jobs, are set to play a major role in maintaining and building this reputation,” Mr Jennings said.

The $410,000 Competitive Business Fund in grants involved:

  • $250,000 to medical diagnostics company Universal Biosensors to help it invest $1 million to expand its Rowville manufacturing hub to develop more world-class point of care diagnostic tests for the global market;


  • $60,000 to GlaxoSmithKline Australia to support the first pilot trial of membrane contactor technology to reduce the manufacturing and environmental disposal costs of medicinal alkaloids, realising a potential saving of up to $1 million a year; and


  • $100,000 to assist SGE Analytical Science to apply a new diamond-like coating technology to a range of new and future products, contributing $7.7 million sales globally and 50 new jobs to the Ringwood-based company.


Mr Jennings said funding would enable Universal Biosensors to build on the worldwide success of its glucose diagnostic system for diabetics and increase its test strip production capacity.

“The company can also start research and development on other potential point-of-care tests including one used to determine the clotting tendency of blood. This will hopefully result in a low-cost point-of-care test for the millions of patients taking anticoagulation medication,” he said.

Ms Allan said the Competitive Business Fund grants reflected the Brumby Labor Government’s support for Victorian businesses to take advantage of global opportunities.

“The $11.4 million Competitive Business Fund is designed to strengthen the global competitiveness of Victorian businesses and supply chains in order to enhance our capabilities and create new jobs,” she said.

“These grants will significantly boost Victoria’s biotech and pharmaceutical industry capabilities.”

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