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Designing more competitive manufacturing firms

10 June 2014

Australian industry is continuing its transformation to build on areas of international advantage and capitalise on new opportunities in advanced manufacturing, and the willingness of companies to embrace innovation and design will be an important part of this process, Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane said today while launching the report Design for manufacturing competitiveness.

“The Australian Government is continuing to work with businesses to put in place the new industry infrastructure to tap into Australian innovation and research, and to turn great ideas into great products that reach international markets,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“But manufacturers need to continuously improve their products and services to meet market demands that constantly change.

“This report has practical advice to help manufacturing firms remain competitive by transitioning to high value-added products that compete on their value, rather than cost alone.

“High-performing, globally competitive Australian manufacturing firms that apply design principles to all aspects of their work have common attributes: they listen to customers, suppliers and researchers, and then turn their ideas into products and services their customers want”.

Some examples are:

  • Award-winning RØDE microphones are used in over 100 countries.
  • Enware makes specialist plumbing solutions that save energy and water.
  • Centor manufactures sliding and folding doors that are used in building construction.

Catherine Livingstone, a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council, said she was proud to lend her support to this important report.

“The adoption of design-led innovation must become mainstream if Australia is to address the challenges of the country’s structural economic shifts,” Ms Livingstone said.

The report was developed by Professor Sam Bucolo who heads the University of Technology Sydney’s Design and Innovation Research Centre, and Peter King who leads CSIRO’s Future Manufacturing Flagship, Design Led Innovation initiative.

CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Megan Clark, said Australian manufacturers have many opportunities to innovate and thrive.

“This report, using the voice of industry, is timely and important, in helping Australian manufacturing companies explore new markets and opportunities,” Dr Clark said.

University of Technology Sydney Vice Chancellor, Professor Ross Milbourne said the research study demonstrated how research could be undertaken with industry to drive competitiveness of Australian manufacturing through design.

The research report will be used by the newly formed Australian Design Integration Network to run workshops for companies interested in embracing design-led innovation, in 2014.

The report is available at: http://www.csiro.au/Organisation-Structure/Flagships/Future-Manufacturing-Flagship/Agile-Manufacturing/Sustainable-Manufacturing-Innovation/Design-for-Manufacturing-Competitiveness.aspx

And: https://www.uts.edu.au/about/uts-business-school/news/designing-manufacturing-firms-be-more-competitive

Media contact: Mr Macfarlane's office 02 6277 7070