A message from Jens Goennemann

Welcome to the first AMGC newsletter for the year.

One of our first activities has been to provide advice to the Federal Government on its flagship initiative, the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund (NRF).

We did this by putting ourselves into the shoes of the nation’s advanced manufacturers, especially our 4,000-plus members, and by being a respected industry-led body who knows a little bit about manufacturing.

The NRF’s aims and budget make its establishment incredibly important, and, as I’ve written before, I commend the government on not rushing in but aspiring to get it right. 

At AMGC, we believe it to be critical that smaller manufacturers are properly considered in the fund’s implementation and investments. They are a defining feature of the industry, and they stand for the realities of our country’s industry structure.

Australia’s manufacturing landscape largely consists of smaller manufacturers. According to our latest research, 87 per cent of all employing manufacturers were made up of fewer than 20 employees. 

Advocating for them becomes increasingly important when, due to their slight resources, they often neither have the bandwidth to do it for themselves nor collectively. The NRF should properly consider and invest in smaller manufacturers, especially those with the potential to go medium-sized and beyond. Our completed projects demonstrate how smaller manufacturers strive and grow.

NRF consultations are covering issues including the types of projects or investments that should be focussed on, as well as measuring and defining concepts like transformation, diversification and value-add these investments hope to achieve.

We have been delighted to share our in-depth research, which aligns snugly with the above issues, as well as evidence through our co-funded projects which have linked smaller manufacturers with other companies or public sector researchers, or both. 

With the last round of AMGC Commercialisation Fund projects recently announced, we can say that two-thirds of all projects are currently under management. A third are complete.

The remaining two-thirds promise a lot of time for us to be busy this year together with industry, while strongly advocating for it in the NRF and elsewhere. 

We are hugely optimistic that this year will be one of continued transformation for manufacturers, and we look forward to putting their case to government and anybody else who we make listen.

Wishing you a prosperous 2023.