An untapped innovation source for advanced manufacturing supply chains
Australia has a strong record of originality in advanced manufacturing: it is the country that gave us the ultrasound scanner, the black box flight recorder and the bionic ear.
The country’s innovative capacity in this sector is in strong demand in global supply chains within the high growth Asia-Pacific region. Australia’s capabilities are focused on high technology, high value-add, and high-skill manufacturing that uses advanced design, processes, materials and technologies.
Operating within a stable and business friendly regulatory environment, Advanced Manufacturing has a strong network of support from both the public and private sectors and draws upon a deep pool of technical talent which is delivering significant advances in manufacturing supply chains across a range of industries.
Innovative and significant
Australia’s manufacturing industry, including advanced manufacturing, is the third largest contributor to Australia’s economy, accounting for 8.3 per cent or A$108 billion of total nominal value of Australia’s industry gross value added in 2010-11 (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics Cat. No. 5204.0, Australian System of National Accounts, 2010-11).
Part of this success is due to cross-fertilisation between Australia’s Research &Development (R&D) institutions and its manufacturing sector. Co-operative research centres have been established around the country to provide links between industry and the research community. These centres also help to commercialise technologies in specialist fields such as advanced composite structures, automotive technologies, cast metals manufacturing, railway engineering, polymers and spatial information.
In 2008-09, as a result, manufacturing spent more than A$4.4 billion annually in R&D, or 25 per cent of all business investment on R&D (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics Cat. No. 8112.0, Research & Experimental Development, 2008-09).
Prime avenue for investment
Advanced Manufacturing has become a prime avenue for investment into Australia.
In 2010, the value of FDI in Australian manufacturing reached A$88 billion (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics Cat. No. 5352.0, International Investment Position, Australia: Supplementary Statistics, 2010).
Some industry sectors have attracted particular attention among overseas high-technology companies. These include BAE Systems and Boeing for specialist aerospace components; Ford, General Motors, and Toyota in the automotive sector; BASF, Bayer and DuPont in the chemicals industry; and Siemens in energy and water treatment technology.
Opportunities in advanced materials
Australia also has a record as an innovator and developer of advanced materials. There is substantial infrastructure in the country in this area and opportunities in advanced materials exist in areas such as synthetic resins, speciality chemicals, moulded plastics, pigments, coatings, packaging, advanced polymers.
Automated equipment for manufacture
Australia’s broad and diversified advanced manufacturing industry is served by a large range of specialised automation and robotics system suppliers able to deliver innovative and efficient automation solutions for any processing, manufacturing, handling, assembly or packaging requirements.
Multi-disciplinary engineering teams, with expertise in software design and robotics applications, enable development of integrated advanced automation systems with proven manufacturing technologies and processes.