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Manufacturing Precinct to deliver for Australia's future::

The headquarters of Australia's first Industry Innovation Precinct, a key part of the Gillard Government's $1 billion Plan for Australian Jobs, has been opened today by the Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet.

"By bringing together our best research minds and our most innovative businesses, Industry Innovation Precincts will create Australian businesses and industries that can compete on the world stage," Mr Combet said.

The Gillard Government will invest more than $500 million in establishing Industry Innovation Precincts around Australia - they will bring together industry, companies, universities, research institutions and experts in technology and business.

In addition to opening the new Precinct's headquarters in Melbourne, the Gillard Government is taking further steps to implement the Jobs Plan, including providing $23 million through the Industrial Transformation Research Program to fund food industry research, and inviting industry proposals for additional Precincts around Australia.

The Manufacturing Precinct is the first of up to 10 Precincts that will focus on areas of Australian competitive advantage or emerging opportunity.

"It will bring together businesses, research institutions, service providers and government agencies to support and create internationally-competitive manufacturing businesses and jobs," said Mr Combet.

"The Manufacturing Precinct will help Australian manufacturers to improve skills and technologies, to tap into research expertise and to build collaborations."

Chaired by experienced industry executive, Albert Goller, the Manufacturing Precinct will work closely with Australia's best manufacturers and researchers who will come together as foundation members.

The Manufacturing Precinct will be headquartered in the New Horizons building at the Clayton Campus of Monash University in Melbourne's south east. It will be situated alongside 400 staff from Monash and CSIRO, specialising in research into advanced manufacturing, biological engineering and renewable energy.

The Manufacturing Precinct will operate nationally through a network linking manufacturers and researchers. It will also have a presence in Adelaide focusing on defence-related manufacturing.

Businesses and other organisations will also be able to collaborate with the Manufacturing Precinct to apply for funding under the Industry Collaboration Fund, a further initiative of the Gillard Government's Plan for Australian Jobs. The Industry Collaboration Fund will open later this year.

Mr Combet also announced that applications were now open for the remaining Industry Innovation Precincts. Further information and details about how to apply can be found at www.aussiejobs.innovation.gov.au/iip.

In addition, Mr Combet and Science and Research Minister Craig Emerson today announced more than $23 million has been awarded to eight successful research projects to advance Australia's food industries, under the first round of the Gillard Government's Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP).

The $236 million ITRP is an integral part of the Gillard Government's Industry Innovation Precincts and will support important industry-research partnerships to improve competitiveness. It will fund projects in Precinct priority research areas, ensuring research is targeted to areas of existing industrial competitive advantage and emerging opportunities.

The second round of the ITRP will address research priority areas in food, manufacturing and defence manufacturing to match the initial two Industry Innovation Precincts being established.

"The Gillard Government is committed to building greater levels of quality and scale in our industries to capitalise on the economic opportunities of the Asian Century," Mr Combet said.

"Supporting advanced manufacturing in Australia remains a key Labor priority.

"Industry Innovation Precincts are an important industry-led initiative that will accelerate this transformation and ensure highly skilled job opportunities into the future."

Media contacts:
Minister's office 02 6277 7920

02 May 2013