The fourth annual Victorian Manufacturing Showcase will be held on 24 October at Victoria University Sunshine campus, with a focus on ‘Creating New Opportunities’.

The event will be hosted by Industry Capability Network (ICN) Victoria in conjunction with the State Government’s Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR). According to Don Matthews, Executive Director of ICN Victoria, the whole objective of the event is to provide opportunities for Victorian manufacturers to gain invaluable insights into other successful Victorian businesses, by showcasing those businesses effectively, and allowing them to network with other manufacturers and government representatives.

“It’s part inspiration, part education, part networking,” says Matthews. “I think given the context of how the manufacturing sector is transitioning to a new reality, where we’ve seen the closure of automotive, and Hazelwood: how do you create new opportunities amid that changing landscape?”

This year a number of companies will be on display that have made the successful transition from being largely dependent on one sector, such as automotive and into servicing more diverse marketplaces. The showcase will feature companies that have either successfully transitioned into new sectors or built stronger positions in their sectoral market place. Representatives from Sutton Tools, Siemens, Impresa House, Composite Materials Engineering, Integra Systems, Glaxo Smith Kline and Class Plastics have all been invited to speak.

“The Showcase is all about the stories of those companies,” Matthews adds. “They’re personal stories really, about how they’ve transitioned. We’re not looking for a standard corporate presentation, it’s really: ‘Our story. This is how we did it’. It’s personal and it’s inspiring.”

Matthews sees the future of manufacturing as finding opportunities in new niche value-added markets and growth areas. That can be medical, pharmaceutical, new energy, food and fibre, transport, defence, construction etc.

“I think that’s where some of the opportunities lie, given the investment that’s going into those sectoral areas. Advanced manufacturing is another opportunity. And that’s all in the context of not just providing domestic capability, but also getting ultimately into global supply chains. That’s pretty important.”

The Victorian Manufacturing Showcase 2017 will take place on 24 October 2017 (8.30am – 2.30pm) at Victoria University’s Sunshine Campus.