Victoria is set to become a rapid antigen test manufacturing hub with tens of millions to be made and sold every year.
The state government made the announcement on Tuesday with Lumos Diagnostics to establish a manufacturing hub in Box Hill.
Rapid antigen test production will start at the plant in April, with three million tests a month to be made on site from July 2022.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the project would help ensure Victoria had an ongoing supply of tests in addition to creating 70 local new jobs.
“Believe me, this is not a cost. It’s an investment. This sets us apart,” he said.
“People talk about Boston, they talk about London and they talk about Melbourne. Being able to scale up production so quickly shows the strength of Victoria’s advanced manufacturing capabilities.”
Lumos Diagnostics, which has headquarters in Melbourne, has been making rapid tests in the US for Canadian and European markets throughout the pandemic.
At full production, the Box Hill plant is expected to produce 50 million rapid tests each year.
However, Mr Andrews said the state would still need to source tests from overseas companies despite the local development.
“We will amass as many of these as we can. They are valuable now and they will be valuable into the future,” he said.