A new industry partnership between St. George Banking Group, the University of NSW and the non-profit Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) is has been launched to propel Australia’s manufacturing industry into the digital age.
The push is aimed at allowing the once analogue industry to rapidly recast itself to a high-value added future by hooking up businesses with smarts and finance.
The partnership will allow St. George customers and AMGC members to draw on their respective banking and industrial experience, backed by digital innovations and research from UNSW.
While the manufacturing industry took a big hit with the closure of Australia’s automotive factories, recent statistics from the ABS show domestic employment in the sector has increased 6.1 percent over the five years to 2018.
St. George’s head of Manufacturing and Wholesale Matthew Kelly said the bank’s customers in the industry are increasingly taking advantage of real-time data and technology to enable better business decision-making.
“Manufacturing is an export-focused industry, and digitisation, data, automation and new materials are driving the reemergence of manufacturing in Australia,” Kelly said.
Future partners of the initiative will also have access to advanced manufacturing facilities through the UNSW-based ARC Centre for Automated Manufacture of Advanced Composites, said Centre director professor Gangadhara Prusty.
“This partnership will enable St.George customers and AMGC members to leverage technologies developed at UNSW and take advantage of the University’s skills and expertise in the engineering field.”
“Using advanced manufacturing automation and innovative material solutions, we can assist
potential partners in solving their real-world engineering challenges.”
This is latest in a slew of industry partnerships in which universities function as R&D-as-a-Service providers, including RMIT’s data analytics centre that opened last week, and UTS’ new Tech Lab in Sydney’s industrial heartland.
AMGC’s state director Michael Sharpe added that every Australian manufacturer can take advantage of universities’ digital skills and banks’ enterprise savvy to build their business and compete globally.
“To improve our country’s innovation and competitiveness, manufacturers need to become highly-integrated, collaborative and export-focused so we can provide high-value, customised solutions to global supply chains.”
“This complementary partnership will forge the industry ahead by helping manufacturers to think more laterally about how they can use the latest technology to scale their businesses and seek new opportunities both onshore and overseas.”