The Queensland government's recently announced plans to develop a 10-year manufacturing roadmap to set a platform of growth and innovation in the years ahead.
Across Australia, the manufacturing industry contributes considerably to both economic growth and employment. In fact, according to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, this sector also spends more than 25 per cent of business expenditure on critical research and development functions - this highlights the importance of innovation across the industry.
However, the challenge for advanced manufacturing businesses is remaining creative as global competitors continue to raise the bar in terms of products and offerings. In order to expand and establish high-value employment in the years to come, a plan is needed and this is what is currently on the table in Queensland.
10-year manufacturing roadmap
Recently, the Queensland government announced plans to develop a 10-year manufacturing roadmap. The discussion paper will hopefully see business leaders from across the state contribute their ideas and innovations to the opportunities outlined by the government.
The roadmap already highlights potential avenues through exports and imports in the medical and pharmaceutical markets.
State Development Minister and Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham is hopeful that the discussion paper will enable manufacturing business leaders plan for a productive future both domestically and internationally.
"Our manufacturing sector contributed more than $20 billion to our economy in 2014-15. It's our third largest employer of full-time workers and that's expected to increase in the medium term," he said.
"The future I want to see is traditional manufacturers transitioning to advanced manufacturing, accessing new supply chains and capitalising on changing markets and export opportunities."
While the manufacturing industry has picked up in recent years, there are a number of challenges facing business leaders that have the potential to disrupt progress. The Queensland government mentions competition from Asia as well as the ageing workforce. As such, it will prove key that plans and structures are in place in the years ahead.
Roadmap welcomed by industry
The 10-year roadmap has been described by Ai Group as "an important milestone" in order to "grow a diversified and innovative economy". Citing the massive share of the manufacturing industry in Queensland, Ai Group's Acting Queensland State Director, Alex Stanojevic welcomed the move.
"The roadmap has the potential to further increase manufacturing support for the agribusiness, food processing, mining equipment and technology services, health technology, pharmaceuticals, transport equipment and aerospace sectors," he explained.
"We encourage all manufacturers to engage with the strategy and familiarise themselves with the Discussion Paper as it sets out the components of success for manufacturing in a world of rapidly changing technology, markets and opportunities."
Improving overall competitiveness
In Deloitte's recently released 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitive Index, Australia's competitiveness in the global manufacturing industry is expected to fall over the next five years. The country is currently ranked 21st, down from 16th in 2013, this position could slip to 22nd in 2020.
For a nation that prides itself on innovative, smart and world-leading practices, this is certainly a concern and backs up the decision to develop a long-term plan. Of course, other heavy manufacturing states such as Victoria and NSW have similar projects in the works as well.
As a recommendation, manufacturing businesses are urged to expand the quality of their services. One way is to begin working with a trusted provider such as Redstack.
The Future of Making Things
With the introduction of advancements and innovation in areas including new technologies, manufacturing processes, engineering, design, software, 3D printing, and more the future of making things in Australia could look very different in the near future. Learn more about the Future of Making Things.
The Redstack approach
Redstack is a proud supporter of the Australian manufacturing industry and continues to offer products and services that can add value to operations. From digital prototyping to data management and 3D printing we can help enhance your presence in the market.
Of course, regardless of the size of your business, we can tailor solutions to your exact requirements.
For more information about the future of making things and solutions for manufacturers, feel free to contact us today.