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Supporting advanced manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing has the potential to benefit all manufacturers. It’s a broad set of enabling technologies, processes and practices that industry sectors can use to improve their productivity and competitiveness. It includes a number of digital technologies collectively known as Industry 4.0.

Some examples of advanced manufacturing technologies are:

  • additive manufacturing (3D printing)
  • robotics and automation
  • advanced materials
  • artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • nanotechnologies
  • biotechnologies

Advanced Manufacturing Fund

Our manufacturing sector is transforming. Its future lies in embracing new technologies and developing high value‑added products and services for the global market place.

The $100 million Advanced Manufacturing Fund drives innovation in Australia’s manufacturing sector to create jobs, grow businesses, improve productivity and be globally competitive. It includes programs to:

  • encourage investment in new technologies
  • stimulate further research
  • invest in emerging engineers and scientists
  • provide facilities to test new products
  • develop business capability

Advanced Manufacturing Growth Fund

The $47.5 million Advanced Manufacturing Growth Fund provides grants that support capital projects from small and medium enterprises. The fund helps them establish or expand advanced manufacturing activities in Victoria and South Australia.

Automotive Innovation Labs

The $10 million Automotive Innovation Labs program will:

  • support businesses across Australia to access design and test facilities for automotive products
  • establish Automotive Innovation Lab facilities in South Australia and Victoria

Automotive Engineering Graduate Program

We’re investing in the pipeline of highly trained engineers for the automotive design and engineering industry. Universities can apply for funding to support postgraduate students undertake projects in the automotive industry.

Advanced Manufacturing Early Stage Research Fund

The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre gives grants to benefit smaller firms and early stage research projects. The fund will run until 2020–21 and provide $1 million to eligible projects each year. 

Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre

The Industry Growth Centres Initiative established the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC). The AMGC is tasked with driving an industry-led approach to boost innovation, productivity and competitiveness in the Australian manufacturing sector. It is a not-for-profit organisation.

The AMGC supports projects and activities that:

  • enhance industry research collaboration and export capability
  • improve management and workforce skills
  • reduce regulatory burden

AMGC’s Advanced Manufacturing—a new definition for a new era explains how manufacturers can introduce production efficiencies and new products and services to be more competitive and offer better value to customers.

Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre 

The Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) helps Australian businesses increase their global relevance through research-led innovation in manufacturing products, processes and services. It is an independent, not-for-profit Cooperative Research Centre.

Through partnerships with businesses, research organisations, industry associations, Growth Centres and government, the IMCRC:

  • co-funds on a dollar-for-dollar basis, broad, multidisciplinary and industry-led manufacturing research projects that deliver commercial outcomes
  • advances manufacturing transformation and uptake of Industry 4.0 through industry education and public advocacy

Measuring advanced manufacturing

Manufacturing businesses are a critical part of the Australian economy. They employ around 900,000 Australians, invest $4 billion in research and development, and contribute $100 billion to the economy.

In 2016-17 advanced manufacturing* represented:

  • 24 per cent of total manufacturing employment
  • 28 per cent of industry value added
  • 25 per cent of sales and service income
  • 25 per cent of merchandise exports 

It also accounted for 58 per cent of total manufacturing research and development in 2015-16.











Industry Value Added ($m)





Sales and Service income ($m)





Merchandise exports ($m)





R&D expenditure ($m)





Source: *Australian Bureau of Statistics. These figures aggregate the values for three industry subdivisions (Subdivision 18: Basic chemical and chemical product manufacturing; Subdivision 23: Transport equipment manufacturing; and Subdivision 24: Machinery and equipment manufacturing), selected for their relatively high level of R&D intensity and use of highly-skilled workers, as a proxy measure for advanced manufacturing. **R&D expenditure is collected every two years.

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Last updated: 8 December 2020

Content ID: 12991