$8.78 MILLION ANNOUNCED FOR SUNSHINE COAST FOOD AND BEVERAGE SECTOR

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Ted O'Brien

AUSTRALIAN-FIRST FOOD AND BEVERAGE PRECINCT SET TO TAKE OFF ON THE SUNSHINE COAST

Australia’s first purpose built, end-to-end collaborative food and beverage manufacturing precinct is set to take off on the Sunshine Coast with the support of an $8.78 million Federal Government Grant.

Funding from the Modern Manufacturing Initiative Translation stream was awarded to the development of the Turbine Precinct, a collaborative project led by the Food and Agribusiness Network, to position the Sunshine Coast as an epicentre for supporting food and beverage businesses to scale.

The Turbine Precinct, to be located at the Sunshine Coast Airport, will be designed to drive innovation, reduce barriers to scale, increase productivity for food and beverage manufacturers and will open up new national and international export markets.

Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien said the funding announcement will launch the beverage manufacturing sector on the Sunshine Coast sky high.  

“The Turbine Precinct’s unique end-to-end, collaborative design will transform the food and beverage manufacturing sector on the Sunshine Coast and draw international attention,” Mr O’Brien said.  

“This model is an Australian-first. The Turbine Precinct will provide local food and beverage businesses with end-to-end support and it will be the envy of the world.” 

“This Federal funding directly supports the development of the Turbine Precinct’s common use infrastructure, collaborative manufacturing services and research capabilities.

“This means that local start-ups will have access to the equipment and resources required to go to market and the advanced infrastructure and networks to scale globally.”

Basing the facility at the Sunshine Coast Airport will give local businesses the unique ability to more easily access domestic and international markets and leverage a range of Free Trade Agreements that the Australian Government has recently secured.

With strong support from key stakeholders, the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) and the Queensland Drinks Accelerator have led the collaborative funding submission.

CEO of the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN), Emma Greenhatch was excited to reveal the preliminary plans for the innovative manufacturing hub that FAN have been advocating for the past five years.

“We’re delighted by the Federal Government’s support of the Turbine project through the announcement of this funding,” Ms Greenhatch said.

“The vision of the Turbine Precinct is to create a blueprint for the future of Australian food and beverage manufacturing, where industry, research, government and education and training providers collectively unlock growth and drive innovation.

“Over the past six years FAN has created a unique, collaborative ecosystem to support the growth of the food and agribusiness industry in the greater Sunshine Coast region. Turbine will take this to the next level, providing advanced manufacturing capability, critical services and education and training to turbocharge industry growth.”

Sunshine Coast Airport Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Brodie, welcomed the funding announcement.

“The opportunity to have Australia’s first purpose-built food and manufacturing facility located at our airport will directly benefit our community through the jobs and business growth it creates,” Mr Brodie said. 

“While we are still in the initial planning stages, we are excited by the opportunities this will create for our region and this facility is consistent with our vision for the airport as outlined in our Airport Master Plan 2040. 

Simon Michelangeli, Founder of the Queensland Drinks Accelerator (QDA), said the Turbine Precinct will have significant impact for the region’s beverage businesses.  

“Our export-ready facility will work with co-located beverage businesses and a range of contract customers – from Queensland start-ups to global beverage brands. 

“Collaboration between a broad range of like-minded partners will create an end-to-end innovation ecosystem that will enable us to develop and commercialise new products and help high growth potential businesses to scale to achieve national distribution and open up export markets.”

Planning is underway for the Turbine Precinct due to commence operations later in 2023 with an initial focus on beverage manufacturing.  The Precinct will evolve to include advanced food manufacturing from 2024 onwards.

The Manufacturing Translation Stream is part of the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy and provides businesses with funding for projects that translate high quality research into commercial outcomes and support businesses to scale-up and be more competitive and resilient.

The grant provides co-funding to support businesses to adopt new technologies and improve their manufacturing processes to boost productivity and competitiveness.

There will be 6 grant opportunities under the Manufacturing Translation Stream that align with the National Manufacturing Priorities.

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