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Budget 2012-13: New innovation centre to assist Australian manufacturing

As part for the 2012-13 Federal Budget, a new $29.8 million Manufacturing Technology Innovation Centre will bring together researchers and manufacturers to drive innovation through new and improved industrial products and processes.

The new Centre is expected to create, foster and leverage innovative Australian industrial design, engineering and product development, including through the spread of leading edge technologies, business processes and technical knowledge.

The Centre will be led by industry through the creation of a small number of sectoral collaborations involving major manufacturers, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), public research agencies, including CSIRO, and universities.

Successful industry collaborations will also be able to draw on related innovation infrastructure and support, including:

  • The services of Austrade; AusIndustry, Commercialisation Australia and Enterprise Connect;
  • The new $236 million Industrial Transformation Research Program;
  • Relevant Cooperative Research Centres (such as the Advanced Manufacturing, Automotive, and Composites CRCs) and the Australian Manufacturing Technology Institute Limited (AMTIL);
  • Skills and training through the National Workforce Development and Productivity Agency and associated Fund.

The initiative will provide examples of best practice to the rest of industry and utilise major manufacturers and industry arrangements to champion the diffusion of innovation across sectors.

It will also work to facilitate access by manufacturing SMEs to appropriate facilities with the aim of reducing risks associated with product development.

The initiative will assist growing manufacturing SMEs to be better managed, more capable and higher value enterprises. The Centre will support such enterprises to collaborate and innovate more effectively.

The Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Manufacturing will consult with industry on implementation of this initiative.

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