Embracing deep tech is transforming Australia’s manufacturing sector.
Manufacturing in Australia has faced big challenges, as well as embraced big opportunities, in recent decades as globalisation impacts supply chains, competition ramps up internationally, and consumer markets expand and demand new, innovative products. Despite the challenges, the sector is an important part of the Australian economy, employing around one million people — the seventh biggest employing industry — and accounting for 11 per cent of annual export earnings.
The Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC) runs from 2015 to 2022 and aims to accelerate Australian manufacturing into the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), helping companies transform into high value, high knowledge-based businesses that will flourish in today’s digital economy.
“Australia’s manufacturing sector is seeing a new generation of high-tech advanced manufacturers emerge,” says David Chuter, CEO and Managing Director of IMCRC. “We hope to strengthen them and the sector to be resilient to future disruptions and ensure Australia has national capabilities that are also world relevant.”
Manufacturing has been hit hard by free-trade deals and competition from low-wage economies in recent decades, but globalisation goes both ways, he says. “We’re now seeing companies that embrace innovation in every aspect of their business, undertaking extensive research, adopting advanced manufacturing techniques and looking overseas for growth.”