Advanced Manufacturing

About Advanced Manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing is a broad set of enabling technologies, processes and practices that businesses from a wide range of industry sectors can adopt to improve their productivity and competitiveness.

Some examples of advanced manufacturing technologies and processes include:

  • Additive manufacturing/3D printing (i.e. a digitally based alternative to traditional ‘subtractive’ manufacturing)
  • Advanced materials (i.e. use of materials such as carbon fibre and graphene to make stronger, lighter or more durable products).
  • Industry 4.0 (i.e. the 4th wave of the industrial revolution that connects big data and analytics with automation and robotics; cloud computing; and system/software integration to create 'smart factories').
  • Biotechnologies (e.g. genetically engineered crops, bio-remediation (microbes) to clean up oil spills)
  • Nanotechnologies (i.e. engineering and technology conducted at the nanoscale to produce products such as disease-targeted drugs and lighter sporting equipment)
Design-led innovation (i.e. the strategic ‘design’ of every aspect of an organisation’s value-adding activities to improve its sustainable competitiveness)

Advanced Manufacturing statistics**











Industry Value Added ($m)





Sales and Service income ($m)





Merchandise exports ($m)





R&D expenditure ($m)





Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics. *R&D expenditure is collected every two years. **These figures aggregate the values for three industry subdivisions (Subdivision 18: Basic chemical and chemical product manufacturing; Subdivision 23: Transport equipment manufacturing; and Subdivision 24: Machinery and equipment manufacturing), selected for their relatively high level of R&D intensity and use of highly-skilled workers, as a proxy measure for advanced manufacturing.

Government Programs

  • Advanced Manufacturing Fund
    On 8 May 2017, the Australian Government announced the $100 million Advanced Manufacturing Fund to drive innovation in Australia’s manufacturing sector to create jobs, grow businesses, improve productivity and be globally competitive. The Fund will: encourage further research; invest in emerging engineers and scientists; provide facilities to test new products; and develop business capability.

    Importantly, support to advanced manufacturing businesses will encourage investment in new processes and equipment to ensure that they are world-leaders in competitive global markets.
    • Advanced Manufacturing Growth Fund
      The $47.5 million Advanced Manufacturing Growth Fund (AMGF) is a grants program that supports capital projects by small and medium enterprises to establish and expand advanced manufacturing activities in Victoria and South Australia using advanced technologies, design and engineering excellence, and innovative business processes.

      The first round of funding under the AMGF has already been completed. 20 companies across Victoria and South Australia will receive support, leveraging an estimated $119 million of investment to advance the Australian manufacturing sector. Examples of some of the successful recipients include:
      • ATi Implants Pty Ltd (South Australia) will receive $1,500,000 to establish a high tech additive manufacturing process to produce dental implants.
      • Codan Limited (South Australia) will use $528,333 to implement a new Surface Mount Technology production line that will help improve productivity and quality of high value products in the local and global supply chains.
      • MiniFAB Pty Ltd (Victoria) will receive $1,297,000 for the company to upgrade its manufacturing facilities for the production of medical devices to be used for the emerging ‘organ on a chip’ technology.
      • LeMond Composites Pty Ltd (Victoria) will use $2.5 million, to support the commissioning of an industrial carbon fibre manufacturing facility.

        View the list of successful grant recipients that have been offered funding in round one.
      The second round of the AMGF is open for applications between 14 December 2017 and 28 February 2018. Eligible manufacturing firms in Victoria and South Australia are encouraged to apply through

      More information is also available on increased investment in advanced manufacturing.
    • $20 million Advanced Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-Ps)
      The application period for the fourth round of funding under the CRC-Ps initiative opened on 3 July 2017 and closed on 29 August 2017. On 6 December 2017, the Government announced $33 million in funding for 15 successful CRC Projects. Eight of the 15 projects were supported by the $20 million in additional funding allocated from the Advanced Manufacturing Fund for larger scale advanced manufacturing research projects.
    • The remaining elements of the Advanced Manufacturing Fund are under development and are expected to be rolled out in the near future. These elements include the: $4 million Advanced Manufacturing Early Stage Research Fund; $10 million Innovation Labs in South Australia and Victoria; and $5 million Automotive Engineering Graduate Program.
      • Consultation papers for the Innovation Labs initiative and the Automotive Engineering Graduate Program have now been released, the consultation period closes on 19 March 2018. More information on the increased investment in advanced manufacturing are available, and you can join the discussion online at the consultation hub.
  • Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre
    Part of the $250 million Industry Growth Centres Initiative, the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC)'s vision is to develop an internationally competitive, dynamic and thriving Australian advanced manufacturing sector that is critical to the long-term health of the economy and the nation. On 9 December 2016, the AMGC released its Sector Competitiveness Plan, outlining opportunities for advanced manufacturing and providing an action plan for the next decade.

    On 23 October 2017, AMGC released its report ‘Advanced Manufacturing—a new definition for a new era’. The report explains that every manufacturer has the potential to be advanced by introducing production efficiencies, and new products and services, to offer better value to customers.
  • Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre
    The $40 million Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) will bring industry into clusters together with world-leading research capability. Through the development and application of new materials, systems and technologies, the IMCRC will create new products, processes and business models. The IMCRC is working closely with the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre to ensure an integrated approach to overcoming challenges and developing market opportunities for local businesses.

    More information is available on the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program and

Case Studies

  • RØDE
    RØDE designs and manufactures high-quality microphones and related accessories for studio, live and on-location purposes. Its products, designed and primarily manufactured in Sydney and exported to over 100 countries worldwide, are the winners of a number of prestigious international product awards, including Europe’s ‘Red Dot’ and the Australian International Design Award.
  • Planet Innovation
    Planet Innovation is a Melbourne-based design, development and manufacturing company of biomedical, clean technology, high technology, consumer and industrial products such as analytical and diagnostic instruments medical applications. It works with CSIRO and universities in research and development of its products.
  • Quickstep
    Quickstep, based in Bankstown NSW and Geelong VIC, manufactures advanced composites and develops and licenses advanced composite manufacturing technologies for global aerospace and automotive markets. Quickstep Automotive is co-located at Geelong’s carbon fibre hub with Carbon Nexus Research Facility and Deakin University. Other highly successful manufacturing businesses collaborating in the hub are: Marand Precision Engineering; Carbon Revolution; and HEIQ Australia.
  • Breseight Group
    Breseight Group provides design engineering and advanced manufacturing services, laser sintering (3D printing) services and machinery sales and leases, and new technologies for the medical sector and making steel products for building and construction. It uses the latest computer aided design and engineering technologies to transform ideas into models, and products.
  • Romar Engineering
    Romar Engineering, located at Sefton NSW, is a contract manufacturing company servicing medical, aerospace, aeronautical, and other industries requiring precision manufactured components. It designs, develops, prototypes and manufactures tools, dies and components using metals, plastics and rubbers. Romar is collaborating with CSIRO in industry-leading research in the manufacture of medical devices, titanium body implants and components for machinery.

Other information/reports

  • A patent analytics study on the Australian advanced manufacturing industry |
    IP Australia (commissioned by the Department) has undertaken analysis on patent activity in Australia’s advanced manufacturing sectors from 2000-2013, to improve the understanding of our strengths and weaknesses across eight advanced manufacturing technology categories: Chemical engineering; Chemistry; Electrical; Materials; Mechanical engineering; Medical devices; Pharmaceuticals; and Transport. Key findings include: a 15 per cent increase in overall patent applications over the period, largely driven by medical devices-which grew by 46 per cent; Australia’s global ranking in applications at 14th, positive given our 53rd ranking in population; and our strengths in a number of advanced manufacturing areas, such as medical devices and electrical.
  • Advanced Manufacturing – a new definition for a new era
    On 23 October 2017, the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre released its report ‘Advanced Manufacturing—a new definition for a new era’. The report emphasises that every manufacturer has the potential to be advanced, and that the continued growth in the sector is dependent upon manufacturers moving up the value chain, embracing production efficiencies and innovation in order to develop new products and grow their value proposition to customers.

    More information is available at
  • Taking Australian Ingenuity to the World
    On 9 December 2016, theAdvanced Manufacturing Growth Centre released its Sector Competitiveness Plan. The plan offers substantial analysis into the Australian manufacturing industry and actions on ways Australia can best compete internationally.
  • Advanced Manufacturing: A Roadmap for unlocking future growth opportunities for Australia
    On 1 December 2016,CSIRO released its Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap. The report examines where Australia's major growth opportunities exist and what manufacturers need to do to achieve them.  
  • Advanced Manufacturing: Beyond the production line
    On 30 April 2014, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) released a report focusing on advanced manufacturing. The report examines where Australia's opportunities for advanced manufacturing lie and how they can play a role in supporting Australia's long-term growth.



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