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New CSIRO Programme to Boost Advanced Manufacturing Capability

Image Credits: CSIRO, Press Release

Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, is boosting Australia’s advanced manufacturing capability by providing free research and development (R&D) support to businesses to help them develop new products or services.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are working on new advanced manufacturing solutions can sign up for the free, 10-week online Innovate to Grow program, to support their commercial idea by building their R&D knowledge, with 25 spots available. Upon completion of the program, participants may be able to access facilitation support, through CSIRO, to connect to research expertise nationally, along with dollar-matched R&D funding.

The Director of Manufacturing at CSIRO stated that global supply chain disruptions highlighted the need to build Australia’s advanced manufacturing capability. Advanced manufacturing plays a crucial role across a variety of sectors, with manufacturing contributing about six per cent of Australia’s GDP, from biomedical manufacturing to smart robotics and automation.

Enhancing Australia’s advanced manufacturing capability is a key part of Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, and much of this capability will be driven by SMEs, which make up 99.8 per cent of all businesses in Australia, he said.

The Deputy Director of CSIRO’s SME Connect team noted that to help businesses take their products or services to the next level, R&D is essential to better understand what opportunities might be presented to them. While what R&D drives innovation is known, it can be an expensive undertaking for businesses, risky and time-consuming for those without the right guidance and support.

Thus, through this program, participants will be given help to refine a new idea they want to explore and better understand their idea’s business and scientific viability. They will also be exposed to industry knowledge, hear from innovation and industry experts, and work with an R&D mentor.

The program is open to all companies, regardless of sector, who incorporate, or would like to incorporate, advanced manufacturing to improve their existing business operations.

While collaboration is key in driving good R&D outcomes, CIRO’s research from 2021 found that less than 15 per cent of Australian businesses engage universities or research institutions when they are thinking of exploring new innovation opportunities – our goal through this program is to up that percentage.

CSIRO’s Innovate to Grow: Advanced Manufacturing program, commences on 6 September 2022 and is available for up to 25 SMEs. Applications close on 22 August 2022. This program is being delivered in partnership with the CSIRO Lindfield Collaboration Hub and Investment NSW.

In 2021, the global smart manufacturing market size was valued at US$249.56 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow from US$277.81 billion in 2022 to US$658.41 billion in 2029 and it will grow at a CAGR of 13.1% during the 2022-2029 period. 

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with smart manufacturing witnessing a positive impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on recent research, the global market exhibited a substantial growth of 10.2% in 2020 compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2018-2020. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.

Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud, big data, and machine learning are projected to enhance market growth as well as the Internet of Things (IoT), which is closely related to the concepts of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications and Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) on the connectivity side, and Big Data in terms of the content outcomes produced. IoT also comprises the data produced and transmitted between machines (M2M) and between machines and people (M2P). These technologies are expected to uplift the market.

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