Ai Group to help SMEs adopt digital transformation

futuremap® is a business diagnostic tool that helps Australian manufacturing SMEs assess their current state of business and identify areas of focus and potential investment to transform and future-proof their business. Image credit:

The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) was selected as the ongoing custodian of futuremap, a diagnostic platform developed by the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) to assist SMEs in embracing digital transformation.

Following a competitive selection procedure, IMCRC chose Ai Group as the custodian of futuremap to ensure the platform’s long-term success. 

With the selection, Ai Group ensures the program will have a national delivery footprint and will continue to benefit a wide range of businesses across Australia.

The agreement also guarantees that the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Hub, the University of Technology Sydney, and the Swinburne University of Technology will continue to hold non-exclusive rights to deploy futuremap.

Ai Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said the organisation is focused on empowering industry success and aiding its members in enhancing international competitiveness.

“Custodianship of futuremap will expand Ai Group’s capability to help Australian industry to become more innovative, networked and adaptable,” noted Willox.

“We are looking forward to integrating this invaluable program into our service offering, so we can expose businesses to transformative new processes, technologies and ways of working,” the Ai Group CEO stated.

Meanwhile, David Chuter, the outgoing CEO and managing director of IMCRC, shared that over the past four years, futuremap has assisted over 1000 manufacturers transform their digital operations.

Chuter added that recent findings of an independent study conducted by the Swinburne University of Technology have confirmed the effectiveness of the tool.

“Businesses participating in futuremap were found to be growing faster and innovating more than their closest peers, reporting an average increase of 15.5% in sales, 21.5% in wages and 6.6% in staff,” the IMCRC official explained.

Chuter further pointed out that the findings show that futuremap could and should keep fostering innovation among SMEs in Australia’s industrial sector.

“We are incredibly pleased that, under Ai Group’s custodianship, this important tool can live on and continue to grow post-IMCRC,” he added.