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Manufacturing council provides competitive edge

The government will launch an Industry Innovations Council for manufacturing to increase competition and innovation in the industry.

The Future Manufacturing Industry Innovation Council will aim to boost the manufacturing industry’s “competitive advantage” with the rest of the world, according to the minister for innovation, industry, science and research, Senator Kim Carr.

The Council will be chaired by Philip Binns, managing director of instrumentation company Varian Australia Pty Ltd, and represents the second in a series of Industry Innovation Councils to be established by the Rudd Government.

Speaking at the Advanced Manufacturing Australia annual dinner in Melbourne on Friday 10th October 2008, Senator Carr said that though our manufacturing industry contributes around 10 per cent to GDP and employs over a million people, it is still under pressure from the rise of low wage economies.

“To secure manufacturing’s future we need to boost our competitive advantage, with more focus on high-tech, high-skill and innovation-intensive manufacturing. The Council will work with companies to develop innovative strategies,” he said.

According to Carr, the Council’s new chairman, Binns, will bring a wealth of industry knowledge to the role.

“Philip Binns will play a leading part in this critical work and I am extremely pleased he has agreed to chair the Council.

“His extensive experience with Varian Australia in all areas of high-tech, precision manufacturing from product development to sales and exports as well as his background in science, give him the credentials to provide the Council with strong leadership and vision.

“Varian Australia is strongly export-focused, with around 95 per cent of product from its Melbourne facility exported to major economies around the world,” he said.

Representatives from business, unions, professional organisations, the science and research community and government will be appointed to the Council soon, with the inaugural meeting to take place before year’s end, according to Carr.

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