Capability News

There is no doubt that the word “unprecedented” has been used more often in the past three months than in the past three decades. And in these unprecedented times, ICN offices across the country have stepped up to support Australian supply chains as they face the challenges of a global pandemic.

Nationally, ICNL has launched a COVID response portal on ICN Gateway, as well as an application that helps businesses keep workers safe while complying with regulations. Both with the intent to keep business open and people in employment and also focusing on the duty of care of employees through the isolation.

It has been incredibly heartening to see how manufacturing companies and others have embraced the need to transform their capability or expand production to support Australia’s suppression of the corona virus pandemic.

In the Northern Territory, a Darwin based 3-D company Spee3d has gained international attention for its quick and affordable printing of antimicrobial copper sheaths for high touch items such as tapware, door handles and railings. And in Victoria, the ramp up in production for Australia’s only surgical mask manufacture led to a collaboration with the Australian Defence Force and the reinvigorating of a regionally based food packaging plant.

The Queensland Government has relied heavily on ICN QLD and its technology to create new supply chains for Queensland businesses, with many successes.

Ethanol manufacturers in NSW came to the aid of companies making hand sanitiser and ICN NSW introduced new supplies to Nowra-based chemical manufacturing plant, NowChem.

In Western Australian, researchers from the University of WA and Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, along with the Chief Scientist Professor Peter Klinken, developed a face shield to protect frontline health workers, with local business Ardash manufacturing the shields.

ICN SA faced the challenge of needing to employ new staff members during COVID restrictions and did this with flair while also maintaining business as usual, including hosting successful industry webinars.

We are very pleased to bring you this COVID-19 edition of Capability News and we look forward to the slow lifting of restrictions and the expected reinvigoration of the Australian manufacturing sector, and how we can support the new “business as usual”.


Mike Swart
Chair, ICN Executive Directors

ICN helping Australian business through COVID-19

With many Australian businesses facing financial downturn due to COVID-19 restrictions, ICN has mobilised to limit the economic effects of the pandemic on supply chains and local suppliers.

Executive Director Warren Jansen said ICN recognised how important a strong supply chain was to ensure Australian communities stayed strong through pandemic.

“We have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation very closely since it first hit our shores in late January,” Warren said.

NSW local supply chains are open for business

The word “shutdown” is not in the vocabulary of ICN NSW consultants, as they work hard to ensure local supply chains are able to operate as usual.

“We may not be able to get our coffee or go to our favourite restaurants, but industry is trying to maintain business as usual, with some preventative measures in place,” Executive Director Ian Hudson said.

Darwin 3D printing company sparks global interest

With low COVID-19 case numbers in the Top End, most ICN NT consultants have been able to continue to work from the office to support local and regional businesses as well as major project owners.

Territory businesses, however, are not immune from the effects of nation-wide restrictions, with both tourism and hospitality bearing the brunt and onshore oil and gas exploration on hold.

Business as usual for SA - with new staff member on board

Hiring a new staff member can be challenging at the best of times. But imagine trying to do with in the middle of a global pandemic?

With several major defence projects on the go, ICN SA wasn’t going to let COVID-19 get in the way of hiring a new Supply Chain Manager, Defence.

Defence forced called in to boost production of Australian-made surgical face masks

When the Federal Government asked Australia’s only surgical mask manufacturer Med-Con to increase its supply from two million to 60 million by November, it was easier said than done.

Med-con, based in the northern Victorian town of Shepparton, did not have enough mask-making machines to ramp up production, nor did they still have Joe Carmody’s 1980s designs to build new ones.

Call for PPE suppliers in Western Australia

ICNWA is working with the Western Australian Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation to identify businesses who have the capability or potential to manufacture or supply personal protective equipment (PPE).

The department has launched a project page on ICN Gateway seeking expressions of interest for businesses with manufacturing capability supplies such as surgical gowns, face masks, goggles, hand sanitisers and more.