August 24, 2015
In the first of a regular series on progress of the new Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, the Centre’s chairman, Andrew Stevens, shares his views with the AAMC on Australia’s potential, on collaboration and the need to shine a light on what is currently working.
Geelong and Melbourne will be the locations for the first two “collaboration and capability hubs” under networks being established to help build Australia’s advanced manufacturing success.
Andrew Stevens, chair of the new Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, told the AAMC this week the hubs would focus on building Australian research and development collaboration around cutting edge technologies.
The Advanced Materials and Composites Hub, announced earlier this month by the Prime Minister in Geelong, is expected to be followed by a second hub dedicated to additive manufacturing in South Eastern Melbourne.
Mr Stevens said further hubs in Adelaide, Western Sydney and Brisbane would be next.
He said the geographic locations were secondary to the focus on technology development.
“The purpose is to build collaboration around technologies that will enable Australian companies to become market leaders. These hubs will also shine a light on what is already working and really strengthen those programs,” he said.
Deakin University’s work around its Carbon Nexus research centre combined with the CSIRO’s Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre made Geelong an obvious focus for the advanced materials hub.
Mr Stevens said the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre would help to build similar networks across Australia, working with science and industry to ensure research translated into commercial outcomes, and that small and medium-sized enterprises were beneficiaries.
He said the AMGC would work to closely align other government initiatives, like the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre, around similar objectives.
“We’re not trying to boil the ocean,” Mr Stevens said. “It will be bit by bit of course. But we want to be sure we are all aligned with industry’s priorities.”
He said the AAMC had done great work in drawing attention to what was needed and in focusing minds on the characteristics of success in advanced manufacturing.
“The environment is vastly different now from what you saw five years ago. Advanced manufacturing was not even in the lexicon,” he said.