Mary Jakobenov, Manager of Melbourne’s North Advanced Manufacturing Group (MNAMG) was able to attend Australian Manufacturing Week in Sydney this month to represent MNAMG and our partners.

We asked Mary to share some of the key takeways from the week in Sydney:

Gearing up for Growth: Manufacturing and Supply Chain Insights

There was a focus on modernising operations, harnessing technology and advancing sustainability initiatives. Top tactics to improve productivity included, reskilling staff, tighter inventory management system, reviewing production KPI’s, closer collaboration with suppliers and digital technology adoption and related reskilling.
The importance of sustainability reporting and decarbonisation in the manufacturing industry was also a discussion topic, highlighting potential benefits such as cost savings and improved reputation. Businesses should start preparing and budgeting for sustainability reporting and leverage available grants and funding for decarbonisation.

Defence opportunities for Australian Manufacturers

There is a significant investment in defence expenditure, creating opportunities for manufacturing. In addition partners can access  the Defence Business Readiness Tool to check their readiness for working with defence.

Australian SME commercialisation and growth opportunities

  • Industry Growth Program opened in November 2023 and designed to provide advisory services to SME’s who have an innovative product or service ready to take to market. Additional grant programs will be opening later this year allowing SME’s to apply for cash funding.
  • National Reconstruction Fund to build industrial and manufacturing capability in 7 priority areas;
    • renewables and low emissions technologies
    • medical science
    • transport
    • value-add in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors
    • value-add in resources
    • defence capability
    • enabling capabilities
  • Australia’s Economic Accelerator (AEA) will support university research, translation and comercialisation, with funding for universities working with industry partners in 7 NRF priority areas.

Leadership and management capability is crucial for SME’s as is identifying unique value propositions and solving customer problems to help organisations grow. Key areas of focus and consideration for SME’s include;

  • exploring opportunities to partner with local universities on research and development through programs like the CRC projects and Australia’s Economic Accelerator
  • consider how trends like sustainability reporting, digitalisation and automation could impact their business and whether they need to develop new strategies and plans to address these changes.
  • evaluate their current strengths and weaknesses in areas like design capability, collaboration partnerships, workforce skills, and risk management and identify steps they could take to improve
  • companies are encouraged to develop resilient local supply chains and protect their intellectual property (IP) to remain competitive

If you would like more information regarding Defence Priority Capabilities and how to engage with Defence opportunities, or have a discussion about any of Mary’s insights please reach out to Melbourne’s North Advanced Manufacturing Group contact the team at NORTH Link

Australian Manufacturing Week 2024 was an incredible experience, packed with insights and innovations that are transforming the manufacturing landscape.

It provided an opportunity to view the latest advancements in technologies, attend keynote sessions which offered strategic insights and actionable takeaways to drive business and network with a diverse range of professionals from across the industry.

Mary Jakobenov

Manager, Melbourne's North Advanced Manufacturing Group