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WA business wins development funds for COVID-19 tests

A drug and alcohol testing business is one of 14 WA businesses awarded a share of the Federal Government’s $2.5 million Manufacturing Modernisation Fund.

The MMF was announced in September 2019 with the intention of modernising SMEs, encouraging innovation and generating employment opportunities.

$160 million dollars’ worth of grants were up for grabs, with potential for businesses to win up to $1 million dollars depending on their application.

To be successful, business had to demonstrate the potential impact the funds would have on their project and the jobs it would create.

Drug and alcohol testing business Alcolizer received $181,000 through the MMF which they will use to continue developing a COVID-19 antibody test.

General Manager Roger Hunt said that the funds would help with the purchase of robotic assembly plants needed for manufacturing the test.

“I’ve got the first one on my desk. We’ve finished the R&D we’re just waiting on a couple more components to arrive and will make production runs in the coming weeks.”

“We hope to be in clinical trials somewhere between 60 and 90 days from now.” He said.

The test is a modification of the breathalisers they currently offer which have been adapted to determine whether a blood sample contains the two antibodies associated with coronavirus.

He said Alcolizer were doing their bit to bring manufacturing back to Australia.

“There’s another 22 jobs coming into Balcatta so that’s a big plus.”

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