Futuremap charts a fresh course for manufacturing SMEs

| May 21, 2018

The pioneering FUTUREMAP program, a business diagnostic tool developed by the Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC) to help SMEs map their transition to Industry 4.0, made its debut at workshops held during National Manufacturing Week.

The three-day workshops were organised by the Australian Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), the Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC) and the Commonwealth Entrepreneurs Program.

The interactive workshops gave small and medium sized manufacturers the opportunity to identify areas of focus and potential investment to future-proof their business in a rapidly changing marketplace.

IMCRC’s CEO, David Chuter, guided the participating firms through an interactive session to map their current market position and identify areas where they need to increase their awareness, sharpen their competitiveness and build resilience in 13 key areas of industrial and advanced manufacturing.

Chuter looked to help firms understand not only their current position but where they aspire to be in two years’ time. The program also highlights areas for development and investment and introduces further support opportunities.

At the end of the 90-minute session, the firms received an assessment report and links to additional educational materials and the broad eco-system of supporting government organisations and programs.

Jens Goennemann, the managing director of AMGC, said the idea of the cooperation between the IMRCR, the Entrepreneurs Program and the AMGC was to empower SMEs to explore and expand in areas of advanced manufacturing.

“Australian manufacturers cannot compete globally in terms of cost. Australia is not good at that, and we will never be. They need to compete on value, rather than on cost,” Goennemann said.

“Our study of more that 3,000 global businesses has found that the top 25 per cent of successful global businesses invest highly on research and development. They also offered something in addition to manufacturing, be it an additional service or research and development or something else,” he said.

The FUTUREMAP workshops at National Manufacturing Week were the first to be organised in Australia and similar workshops are planned in other states and territories.

Australian manufacturers interested in participating in one of the FUTUREMAP workshops, or in knowing more about the program, can register their interest here.

The Innovation Manufacturing CRC is a not-for-profit, independent cooperative research centre that helps Australian manufacturing companies increase their relevance through collaborative, market -driven research in business models, products, processes, and services.

IMCRC’s envisions a thriving, relevant and globally integrated Australian manufacturing industry and, to achieve that end, it collaborates with manufacturing businesses, research organisations, industry associations, and government to co-fund multidisciplinary, industry-led research projects.

These schemes aim to deliver commercial outcomes, and advance the wider cause of manufacturing transformation in Australia through industry education and public advocacy