Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Wisconsin exports can help fuel the additional growth that is projected for Australia's manufacturing sector.
Australia’s manufacturing industry is expected to evolve into a highly integrated, collaborative and export-focused ecosystem, according to CSIRO Futures. As manufacturing supply chains become increasingly global, Australian industry and government must identify major growth opportunities to enable the creation of high-value, customized, efficient and sustainable operations and offerings.
A number of government-led initiatives aimed at transforming Australia’s manufacturing sector have been announced in the past 12 months.
For example, the Australian government announced an $80 million ($100 million Australian) Advanced Manufacturing Fund in May 2017 that includes several initiatives and funding opportunities to drive productivity and global competitiveness, such as:
- The $38 million ($47 million Australian) Advanced Manufacturing Growth Fund to support capital projects and advanced manufacturing activities of small and midsize companies
- $16 million ($20 million Australian) in funding for Advanced Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre Projects
In November 2017, Innovation and Science Australia released Australia 2030: Prosperity through Innovation - A Plan for Australia to Thrive in the Global Innovation Race, which outlines five key imperatives for innovation, science and research in Australia. One of these goals is to stimulate high-growth firms and improve productivity by supporting innovative industries such as medical devices, software development and advanced manufacturing.
According to the “Advanced Manufacturing: A Roadmap for Unlocking Future Growth Opportunities for Australia” report from CSIRO Futures, the Australian manufacturing sector presents a number of strategic growth opportunities, with a specific focus on:
- pre-production (design, R&D);
- post-production (after-sales service);
- value-adding and sustainable manufacturing; and
- low-volume, high-margin customized manufacturing.
Companies with expertise in the following key science and technology growth areas are therefore well positioned to benefit from increased demand in Australia’s advanced manufacturing sector:
- sensors and data analytics;
- advanced materials;
- smart robotics and automation;
- additive manufacturing (3D printing);
- augmented and virtual reality;
- biotechnologies; and
Wisconsin companies with expertise in advanced manufacturing technologies and services are encouraged to:
- review the major initiatives and individual funding projects identified above to locate any specific areas of opportunity;
- explore any potential opportunities to collaborate on R&D initiatives with Australian universities and research institutions such as CSIRO and the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre; and
- engage with the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council, a private sector initiative aimed at showcasing leading Australian technologies and attracting international companies to Australia.