The Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council defines advanced manufacturers as globally-oriented and innovative manufacturers, in general sharing the following characteristics:
- High Intellectual Property component; high knowledge base
- Dependent on global supply chains.
- The only public sector support needed is at the Research & Development phase through tax credits or leveraging public/private partnerships. Advanced manufacturers tend to be engaged in collaborations with universities, the CSIRO and other research institutes.
- Advanced manufacturers sell to a global market and compete on distinctive qualities. The domestic market is not a constraint.
- These manufacturers constantly innovate to remain competitive. They leverage the latest thinking in technology and materials.
- They produce high margin products.
- And they have smaller capital and labour footprints but are higher paying, and provide higher quality work.
Advanced manufacturers are involved in the development of new markets, new products, new technologies and new ways to manufacture existing products. The US definition of advanced manufacturing highlights not only the value of companies involved in emerging technologies, but innovations that improve processes and production.
“Advanced Manufacturing is a family of activities that (a) depend on the use and coordination of information, automation, computation, software, sensing, and networking, and/or (b) make use of cutting edge materials and emerging capabilities enabled by the physical and biological sciences, for example nanotechnology, chemistry, and biology. This involves both new ways to manufacture existing products, and especially the manufacture of new products emerging from new advanced technologies.”