A message from Jens Goennemann

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we have witnessed a truly impressive response from Australian manufacturers. The dedication and enthusiasm of manufacturers across the nation in reacting to the crisis has underlined precisely the strength, agility and collaborative nature of our manufacturing industry.

This was evidenced in the overwhelmingly positive reception AMGC received on launching the COVID-19 Manufacturer Response Register in late March. Since then, over 2,500 submissions have been received, with manufacturers stepping up to help, focusing on areas of critical need such as ventilators, hospital beds, and PPE manufacture.

As featured in this month’s AMGC News, the notus Emergency Invasive Ventilator Program (a Grey Innovation led initiative, purchased by the Federal Health Department and supported by the Victorian Government and AMGC) will see thousands of ventilators manufactured here in Australia.

Similarly, four Australian manufacturers have teamed up with leading medical technology company Stryker—in record time (we are talking hours here!)—to map a local supply chain, adapt design specifications, create prototypes, and begin production of an Emergency Relief Hospital Bed. Discover how Stryker is now able to produce 1,000 hospital beds per week in this month’s Better Together column.

Manufacturing is the ANSWER

Australia is home to a manufacturing industry that is not only able to pivot and respond rapidly, but is also skilled and equipped to manufacture extremely complex products, such as ventilators, onshore.

We do not know when, or if, the next crisis might hit, or what it might look like. So the best course of action is to foster a vibrant, innovative manufacturing industry. What we must do is to further scale the industry so that it is agile, advanced, and embraces the entire ‘smiley curve’.

It is for this reason that we are expanding the COVID-19 Manufacturer Response Register. AMGC and the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resource are working to empower all manufacturers on the Register to directly connect with complementary businesses and identify opportunities across all sectors. From early May, the Register will include added functionalities. Every business will be able to leverage its existing profile to publicly share information about its capabilities and identify points of collaboration and market opportunities.

It is also why the Department has fast-tracked the award of $48.3 million in funding via the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund (MMF). This funding will help ensure local manufacturers are ready to capitalise on the post-COVID-19 operating environment, and we are proud that our AMGC colleague Mark Peters was privileged to chair the selection committee for the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund.

In this way, we hope that the proactive response from Australian manufacturers to the COVID-19 crisis is not only the new normal but that Australian manufacturing continues to get the recognition it rightfully deserves.