A lot of the buzz and excitement around innovation today is centred around cutting-edge research, sleek technology and start ups. It can be easy to forget the important role that innovation plays in the mature industries that have so long been the engine of Australia's economy and national productivity: manufacturing, process and resources.
The manufacturing and resources industries are essential components within a balanced and diversified economy as they are prime drivers of productivity-boosting innovation, and contribute to our external trade position.
But these sectors, having weathered the downturn of the past few years, now face a myriad of challenges in the coming years — challenges that can only be resolved through decisive and effective implementation of innovation.
Around the world, industries are transitioning towards Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things. These megatrends are double-edged swords. Countries and companies that are smart enough and bold enough to adopt these technologies will see their productivity leapfrog the competition. But those who fall behind will find it increasingly more difficult to maintain their competitive edge.
Despite these challenges, a large percentage of factory and plant owners in Australia have been slow to embrace innovative technology. They are daunted by the cost of initial investment, or they lack understanding and urgency.
But to stay still in a "business as usual" mindset is to fall behind. In an increasingly digital world of manufacturing, companies who fail to innovate are at a disadvantage.
The 2016 PROFIBUS & PROFINET Global Forum will address these very issues.
Date: Wednesday 25 May 2016
Location: Australian Technology Park
Host: Profibus Australia
Phone: 02 9555 7899
Contact: Andrew Dummett (Secretary Profibus Australia)