July 2018 Manufacturers Monthly
Bionic ear implant maker, Cochlear, is expanding its manufacturing base in Brisbane as it looks to bring more manufacturing home from overseas. Cochlear is currently at the final phase of redeveloping its Newstead site in Brisbane, where the company has 200 employees. Cochlear has invested more than $15 million in capital, plant, equipment and labour to enable the Newstead facility to manufacture the latest electronic components used in their implants. This is in addition to products and components used in the external parts of the cochlear implant system like sound processors.
Hearing test showing ear of young woman with sound waves simulation technology - isolated on white banner
Queensland Minister for State Development and Manufacturing Cameron Dick said the expansion will enable Cochlear to re-direct more than $20 million of work from overseas to Queensland.
“Cochlear has transformed the lives more than 475,000 people across 100 countries and now they will continue their great work with Queensland-built technology,” Dick said. “More than 27,000 Queenslanders have severe to profound hearing loss, more than 2100 have a Cochlear implant, and we hope to see many more Queenslanders benefitting from this incredible innovation now happening right here in our state.”
Dick said Cochlear is the perfect example of Australian-headquartered, globally-competitive exporters choosing Queensland to base their manufacturing operations. “This is an important step for the development of advanced manufacturing capabilities in our state, with our growing manufacturing sector already employing 170,000 Queenslanders and consistently contributing nearly $20 billion a year to Queensland’s economy,” he said. “We want manufacturing businesses in Queensland to set their sights on delivering not only for domestic markets, but also for global markets, and Cochlear is one company grasping that vision with both hands through their Newstead operations.”
In 2017-18, the facility manufactured 1.2 million parts and 550,000 finished products for global export. Over 475,000 people of all ages across more than 100 countries now hear because of Cochlear.