Find Industry and Manufacturing expertise in Australia
Manufacturing contributes approximately 11% to Australia’s GDP (2008) and employs almost one million people (2013). Australia’s processed food and beverage industry employs in excess of 200,000 people and is the country’s largest manufacturing subsector.
Major industries in Australia include food processing, industrial and transportation equipment for aviation, shipbuilding and rail, and the manufacture of chemicals and steel. Dominated by subsidiaries of Ford and General Motors, Australia’s automotive exports were worth approximately AUD$3.3 billion in 2011, around US$3 billion, with half of this figure contributed by the export of automobiles themselves and the other half made up of automotive component exports. The majority of these exports go to the Middle East and North America.
Advanced manufacturing accounts for upwards of AUD$60 billion (US$54.53) of inward investment in Australia every year (Australian Bureau of Statistics). Companies such as BAE Systems and Boeing have interests in Australia’s advanced manufacturing sector, as do BASF and DuPont within the chemicals industry and Siemens in energy and water treatment technology.
In 2012, the manufacturing sector contributed in the region of AUD$106 billion dollars to Australia’s economy and accounted for over 25% of all research and development costs in the business sector. This translates to an investment of approximately AUD$4.8 billion into research and development in that year alone. For many years, Australia has utilised processes of ‘cross fertilisation’ between research and development industries and manufacturing sectors. These links are fostered by co-operative research centres where the research and industrial communities work together to commercialise new technologies such as cast metal manufacturing, railway engineering and automotive technologies. This has led to the funding of manufacturing research and development reaching 39% of all of Australia’s business expenditure which equates to AUD$3.9 billion per year, with about AUD$10 billion invested into new plants and machinery every year (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2009).
The 2013 Global Competitiveness Report scores and ranks the sophistication of production processes around the world, where a low country score of 1 means “no sophistication and labour intensive” and a high score of 7 means production processes are the “world’s best and apply the most efficient technologies”. In this respect Australia ranks 19 out of 144 countries with a score of 5.6. At this level, Australia ranks highest in the region and amongst the highest in the world.
The Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education is Australia’s government agency that deals with industry, manufacturing, productivity and growth. The department engages with businesses, research bodies, education sectors, government and local community with a focus on business, manufacturing and developing the economy. AusIndustry is an Australian government initiative set up to aid emerging manufacturing businesses and deliver programmes to help existing and new Australian manufacturing businesses innovate and grow. AusIndustry also provides information and referrals for workers and corporations alike.