Govt should choose Australian made: report

Government tenders for major projects should require Australian made new-to-world technology that drives innovation, according to new research released yesterday.

According to the report by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), new technologies which can range from new technology for public transport to healthcare equipment will help replace lost traditional manufacturing jobs.

Releasing Advanced Manufacturing: Beyond the production line, CEDA Chief Executive, Professor the Hon. Stephen Martin said, "We need to find a new manufacturing sweet spot and advanced manufacturing is where our focus should be.

"By cultivating new technology in Australia it means better technology and infrastructure for Australians but also means we can then export and market this technology overseas.”

He added that advanced manufacturing is not just about products. It includes the full suite of activities from the concept, research and development (R&D) and design stages all the way through to post-sales services.

Professor Martin also said while the transition from traditional manufacturing to advanced manufacturing will likely result in less jobs overall for this sector, new jobs will be higher skill, higher paying and make a bigger contribution to the economy.

In addition to government contracts requiring new innovation to be incorporated, Professor Martin said the CEDA report was also calling for stronger industry/government partnerships in R&D and more incentives for university research to reach commercialisation.

He said industry also needs to form more cooperatives or industry clusters, even among competitors, to drive better R&D similar to what has happened in agriculture.

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