A message from Jens Goennemann

As we embark on a new year, I invite us all to challenge ourselves as an industry to think differently about manufacturing.

According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it is estimated that less than half of local manufacturers are innovating or using highly specialised products and processes where Australian expertise is the source of competitive advantage. Of these local businesses that are innovating, only one in 5 collaborated with other organisations when innovating. Compared to our international counterparts, Australia ranks somewhere in the middle of OECD countries when it comes to the ability to innovate. While we remain ahead of the United States and the Russian Federation, we lag the likes of Ireland, France, Sweden and Austria.

At first glance this snapshot may seem discouraging, in truth, it paints an extremely optimistic picture. These figures indicate that the scope and potential for innovation and collaboration, and the development of a world-leading advanced manufacturing sector in Australia is enormous.

Luckily, there are exciting developments on the horizon for 2019 designed to help Australian SMEs grow, export, and generate local Australian jobs. For instance, recipients of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Export Hubs Initiative will soon be announced. The participants funded by this investment will develop local and regional hubs to help local firms begin or accelerate exporting.

AMGC will continue to work jointly with industry and research partners to support outstanding projects that commercialise innovation and forge competitiveness. In 2018, we committed to over 30 projects, and expect a similar number of projects this year. These projects will be diverse, both in nature and in geographical spread. In addition, we anticipate that our membership base will exceed the four-digit mark.

There are several events on the calendar that promise exceptional opportunities for knowledge sharing and collaboration. In February, Carbon Nexus will host the Carbon Fibre Futures conference, a unique convergence of industry, academia and research. In April, over 6,500 exhibitors and 220,000 delegates are expected to attend Hannover Messe—the world’s leading trade show for industrial technology. In May, Melbourne will again host Australia’s largest manufacturing showcase: National Manufacturing Week. If you can attend any of these events, I encourage you to do so.

Finally, I am pleased to announce that we have launched a new website. With a fresh, modern look and intuitive usability, the site will improve the way in which we interact with our members and the wider industrial sector. I invite you to peruse our new website here: https://www.amgc.org.au.

Follow Jens Goennemann on Twitter.