Advanced manufacturing is the future of manufacturing in Australia and globally, with innovative industries such as biotech, pharmaceuticals and medical devices emerging as likely leaders.

The potential for the manufacture of cutting-edge technologies to produce the desired outcomes for the Australian economy has given it prominence in the public policy agenda. With this in mind, AusBiotech will host a second Advanced Manufacturing Summit (AMS 2015) from 17-18 November, to continue discussions initiated at the inaugural summit held last year.

Peter Roberts, Founder of the Australian Manufacturing Forum, long-time industry journalist and session chair at AMS 2015, said: “Advanced manufacturing is everywhere in today’s Australia and not just confined to obvious sectors such as medical devices and biotechnology. To have survived in manufacturing after decades of reform pressure and withering competition, today’s manufacturers are either in some cosy niche, or are doing something very right indeed.

“We all know about Cochlear, ResMed and CSL. But how many know about Sydney computer chip manufacturer Sillana Semiconduictor, whose communications chips are installed on the Mars Curiosity rover where they relay data and pictures to and from the red planet? Or Cook Medical, whose Brisbane factory is the only one in the world to make custom aortic stents that save the lives of heart attack patients worldwide?”

Export credit agency Efic will present a session about Australia’s promising outlook for manufacturing exports, entitled “Fortunes turning”. Cassandra Winzenrie, Senior Economist at Efic, said: “Australian manufacturers have endured a prolonged period of difficult export conditions. The outlook is improving, however, thanks to a more competitive exchange rate, recently negotiated trade agreements and a modest global economic recovery. This is fuelling increased optimism and ambition among manufacturing exporters, and should deliver higher advanced manufacturing exports.”

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) will present a session to explore recent developments in the bio-manufacturing landscape in Australia. Assoc Prof Ian O’Hara of the Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities, Institute for Future Environments at QUT, said: “The bio-manufacturing industry is growing rapidly on the back of new developments in the core sciences of industrial biotechnology, green chemistry, bioprocess engineering, and additive bio-manufacturing. While significant progress is being made internationally, Australian manufacturers and end-users are also embracing bio-manufacturing technologies.”

Academics from the Centre for Additive Manufacturing at RMIT University will discuss the translation and adoption of advanced additive manufacturing technologies into and by industry. Giving a compelling example, Technical Director Professor Milan Brandt said: “In a recent project with Anatomics and spine surgery specialist Dr Marc Couglan, the Centre successfully created Australia’s first 3D-printed vertebral cage titanium implant for a patient with severe back pain.”

To access the AMS 2015 program, please visit www.advancedmanufacturingsummit.com.au or follow the hashtag #AMSummit15 on Twitter.

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