Takeaways from the AusBiotech Advanced Manufacturing Summit

Australia cannot compete with low-cost, high-volume production; its future is in advancing manufacturing and opportunities in the global supply (value) chain. Famous for having great ideas and new inventions and turning them into profitable commercial realities, the Australian manufacturer is looking for and finding innovative technologies.

The recent Ausbiotech Summit in Sydney offers clear evidence that advancing manufacturing is the boiler room of the future in a constantly changing world founded on the fundamental tenet of continuous improvement. There was a certain vibe in the room – an acknowledgment that automotive manufacturing as we once knew it has been componentised as the aftersales market for automotive parts and accessories.

The Industry Growth Centre initiative is to build on this strength by focusing on areas of competitiveness strength and strategic priority to drive innovation, productivity and competitiveness.

The government is investing $250 million over four years in six industry growth centres in the following sectors of competitive strength and strategic priority:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Cyber Security
  • Food and Agribusiness
  • Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals
  • Mining Equipment, Technology and Services
  • Oil, Gas and Energy Resources

These sectors are positioned to take advantage of emerging opportunities and have strong prospects for future growth. Similar initiatives are already operational in other developed countries such as the US, the UK and Canada.

The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) will lay the framework to unlock commercial opportunities and drive innovation by building a bridge between SME’s research and science sector and global supply chains.

As companies grow, they will be forced to wisely direct scarce funding and human resources towards developing the highly skilled and therefore, higher-paid workforce. This will ultimately result in a bigger contribution to the economy. A growing number of organisations are turning towards digital platforms that bridge the traditional divide between HR and commercial decisions to be made based on the most accurate data available within the organisation.

Whilst we have a competitive advantage in manufacturing, there is a need to focus on high-value manufacturing and other areas such as nanotechnology in medicine as well as other areas such as manufacturing. Aggressive development in 3D printing, gene therapy vector manufacturing and new additive materials that support a focus on high-value manufacturing will maintain this advantage in Australia for future years.

Investment into R&D will be massive as Australian manufacturers compete on innovative and new products and services, collaborating with the Advanced Manufacturing Council, CSIRO and the federal government’s Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC).

The Growth Centre will assist in boosting competitiveness and productivity by identifying opportunities to reduce regulatory burden, increasing collaboration and commercialisation and improving the capabilities to engage with international markets and global supply chains. A sector strategy has been developed and will be led by AMGC respected industry leaders.

A more competitive Australia will ensure a prosperous and dynamic future for Australia and the world, in general.