The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) released its “Advanced Manufacturing: Beyond the production line” research on Tuesday that proposed all major Government tenders to require Australian made ground-breaking technology in order to promote innovation and creates manufacturing jobs.
CEDA Chief Executive, Professor the Hon. Stephen Martin said Australia should aim to phase out traditional assembly manufacturing and focus on advanced manufacturing.
“The focus in Australia has been on traditional assembly line manufacturing — low-cost, high-volume production — which will continue to decline because we simply can’t compete with low cost economies. We need to find a new manufacturing sweet spot and advanced manufacturing is where our focus should be, he said.
“By cultivating new technology in Australia, it means better technology and infrastructure for Australians but also means we can then export and market this technology overseas. Driving innovation through government contracts will not only deliver commercialisation of new technology but help drive a culture of innovation within Australian industry and help us move away from a culture of handouts.”
Professor Martin also added that services around new innovations and technology must become a focus.
“High-cost economies that have had the most success in advanced manufacturing — such as Germany, Switzerland and Sweden — are those that recognise it is not just about products- advanced manufacturing includes the full suite of activities from the concept, research and development (R&D) and design stages all the way through to post-sales services,” he said.
“It is about adding value to the production line, and it is very much about securing a place in the global supply chain. Knowledge-intensive manufacturing services such as R&D, after-sales maintenance for high tech products and the development of customised solutions for specific consumers are just some of the areas where Australia’s future lies.”
According to the media release by CEDA, the report found that the transition from traditional to advanced manufacturing would yield higher skill jobs, which are better paid and make bigger contributions to the economy.
The report also includes proposed reform agenda, which pinpoints 14 key areas that should be overhauled under an Advanced Manufacturing Industry Plan.