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Innovation critical for future of Australian manufacturing


30 April 2012:  A new report recently released by professional services firm Deloitte and the World Economic Forum highlights how Australia needs to position itself to have a sustainable manufacturing future. The report The Future of Manufacturing: Opportunities to Drive Economic Growth” lists a series of issues that will drive manufacturing success in coming decades.

Innovation leads to differentiation

According to the report, innovation will play a key role in determining which countries and companies can succeed in global manufacturing, looking two decades down the road.

Damon Cantwell, Manufacturing Partner at Deloitte Australia highlights that success through innovation is evident at both the company and country level.

“Those companies seen as more innovative recorded increases in net income far in excess of their competitors, while more innovative countries surpassed others in regard to both GDP and GDP per capita."

The report highlighted that it is critical that manufacturers innovate to stay ahead of competition, and that the pace of innovation is critical. Manufacturers must be enabled by having infrastructure and a policy environment that better supports university and research breakthroughs in science and technology.

Surging energy consumption is top priority

The report also looked at the role energy will play in the future of manufacturing, finding that affordable clean energy strategies and effective energy policies will be a top priority for manufacturers and policymakers.

The report underlined the need to continue to seek more energy efficient methods of manufacturing through the entire value chain, from product design to production and logistics.

The report indicated that Australia has much to offer in the areas that will define future manufacturing success.  

“Opportunities present themselves in infrastructure, market access, innovation, clean energy and human capital. While significant change is currently impacting Australian manufacturing, this report reinforces what the picture of a sustainable manufacturing industry in Australia looks like and that it will be very different from past decades,” said Mr Cantwell.

The Future of Manufacturing report is the result of a year-long effort combining primary and secondary research, including a review of academic and industry literature, interviews with more than 30 manufacturing business, academia, and policy leaders, and virtual task force meetings. In addition, industry, policy, and academic stakeholders provided valuable input to the report during seven face-to-face global workshops.

The report also stresses the importance of effective collaboration between policy-makers and the manufacturing industry across a range of areas, including trade, tax, labour, energy, education, science, technology and industry policy.

“In line with manufacturers themselves, Governments will increasingly find themselves in a competitive situation against other countries to create the circumstances that drive the best outcomes for the sector,” added Mr Cantwell.

A copy of the report can be accessed here.

Last Updated: 


Jane Kneebone
Deloitte Australia
Job Title:
Director, Corporate Affairs & Communications
Tel: +61 3 9671 7389, Mobile: +61 416 148 845
Damon Cantwell
Deloitte Australia
Job Title:
Deloitte Manufacturing Partner
Tel : +61 3 9671 7543




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