Ballarat Manufacturers Rising To Global Challenge
A business that manufactures mine plant equipment and started in a back shed in Avoca is now playing a crucial role in Australia’s global response to the coronavirus pandemic, turning its focus to creating ventilators.
Following this international success story, Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes today announced the roll-out of a new program to help other Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) businesses follow in Gekko’s footsteps in growing successful businesses to supply customers across the world.
The METS Regional Innovation Accelerator program is designed to help regionally-based METS businesses engage with local mining companies, fast-track product innovation and promote their services. The 2020 winter program will consist of weekly online seminars over eight weeks.
Ballarat’s Gekko Systems is using its background in Victoria’s METS sector making mining plant equipment to create a prototype for a ventilator for hospital use.
The GeVentor prototypes will soon be heading to the Therapeutic Goods Administrator for assessment ahead of a potential rollout, supported by the Victorian Government, the Committee for Ballarat, Ballarat Health Services, the Buninyong Community Bank and the wider community.
If approved, the ventilators could be available for use for Victorian patients, as well as Australian and international use.
The Government has supported Gekko Systems and other Victorian manufacturers like Grey Innovation with funding to advance plans for the production of ventilators.
The METS industries encompass a variety of services and support thousands of jobs in Victoria – including mineral exploration, mining products, engineering consulting, construction, and information technology. More information on the accelerator program can be found at earthresources.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes
“Regional Victorians are some of the most innovative and resilient people around – Gekko’s efforts prove that and show what can be achieved when we back our METS sector to think big.”
“Our accelerator program will help METS businesses benefit from Victoria’s mining boom, regardless of where they’re located in Victoria.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula
“The ability of Victorian companies to pivot and adapt so they can help in the fight against coronavirus has been impressive, and we’re proud to be backing them.”
Quote attributable to Gekko Systems managing director Elizabeth Lewis-Gray
“A growing mining industry in Victoria can and will significantly contribute to growing globally competitive and sustainable businesses, jobs and exports in the Victorian METS sector – especially in the regions.”