CSIRO: Australian manufacturing must turn to technological innovation to survive

The CSIRO has released a new blueprint which outlines how Australian manufacturers can survive and prosper in an uncertain future.

Image credit: www.csiro.au
Image credit: www.csiro.au

Written in collaboration with industry, government and researchers, the Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap identifies major growth opportunities and what manufacturers need to do to achieve them.

“The Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap is the compass that guides our excellent science to deliver the breakthrough innovation needed to re-imagine Australian advanced manufacturing,” said CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Larry Marshall.

“Australian science can turn disruptors and increased globalisation into opportunities for value creation right here at home. Whether it’s 3D printed sternums to save lives, or 3D paper weaving to help Australian SMEs break into global value chains – or as the great Billy Hughes said ‘science will guide the manufacturer into greener pastures.”

Over the next two decades, Australia’s manufacturing industry will be faced with the challenge to evolve into a highly integrated, collaborative and export-focused environment that provides high-value solutions.

As outlined in CSIRO’s blueprint, the sector needs to focus on pre-production activities such as design, research and development, as well as value-adding services, sustainable manufacturing and low volume/high margin customised products.

CSIRO Manufacturing Director Dr Keith McLean said that in order to do this, the sector would require significant technological innovation by public and private research communities.

“The industrial landscape is changing fast. We need to start evolving with it Australian manufacturing has a strong, high-tech future,” Dr McLean said.

“The research sector needs to focus on areas like sensors, data analytics, advanced materials, robotics, automation, 3D printing and augmented – or virtual – reality. Australian manufacturers must transform their businesses by investing in new knowledge, skills and practices.”

The Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap urges Australia’s research and manufacturing sectors to increase their collaboration and alignment with each other.

It also calls on manufacturers to place a greater focus on participation in global value chains, to attract and retain staff with skills in digital literacy, leadership, customer interface and STEM capabilities, to increase the gender, age and ethnic diversity of their workforce and to improve business-to-business collaboration.

“Industry needs to lead this transformation. CSIRO has the expertise, experience and business network to help guide them,” Dr McLean said.

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