With the Federal Government investing $1.1bn to bring about an ‘ideas boom’ by 2020, the next few years should be a powerful period for innovation. Manufacturers looking to be part of the boom will find a world of inspiration at National Manufacturing Week (NMW), from 11-13 May at the Sydney Showground - Sydney Olympic Park).

Australia’s largest, longest-running manufacturing event, NMW brings the industry together to see, touch and discuss solutions that can open up new business horizons. NMW 2016 will be co-located with the Sydney edition of Inside 3D Printing, the largest 3D printing event worldwide, focusing on using 3D printing production techniques in a range of industries including medicine, automotive, technology, software, and more.

NMW 2016 will also present a highly topical conference program with industry leaders sharing new ideas for bringing innovations to commercial reality. Among speakers will be Sam Bucolo, Professor of Design Innovation at UTS, who is a passionate advocate for Design-Led Innovation. The concept of Design-Led Innovation – used by global brands such as Apple, Nintendo & Alessi – draws on the understanding of how designers approach complex problems by reframing and re-imagining the challenges.

Work already underway in implementing this approach in Australia is delivering promising results, says Professor Bucolo, who will outline both the approach and practical examples in his NMW presentation. Another highlight in the NMW Seminar Theatre program will be a presentation by UNSW’s Professor Gangadhara Prusty, Research Leader of Advanced Structures and Materials group in the UNSW Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering.

Professor Prusty will be introducing UNSW’s new Automated Composites Laboratory, equipped with an Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) machine for additive manufacturing processes. The integrated composites facility is fully functional with equipment to make, bake and break composites. Housed within the UNSW School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering’s $70m complex, the Laboratory is the first of its kind in Australia and is facilitating automated production of lighter, stronger materials already being used in aerospace, vehicle design, propellers for ocean-faring vessels and more.

Professor Prusty brings to this groundbreaking facility a track record of working with next-generation materials and technologies. With the Laboratory now ready to partner with industry, this conference session gives you a unique forum to hear about developments that may well influence industry in the future.

Alongside the Seminar Theatre’s free exchange of ideas, NMW will also present a showcase of hundreds of innovations from around the world, laid out in 12 Product Zones.

Advanced manufacturing technologies will be especially strongly represented in the Digital Manufacturing, Advanced Materials, Engineering and Automation & Robotics product zones, which will include innovations from Impact Robotics and Advanced Robotics, as well as a vast range of enabling technologies, such as actuators from companies including Hiwin Technologies, Timotion Technologies, and LINAK Australia.

NMW 2016 will also be co-located with the Safety First Conference & Expo, Australia’s only one-stop event for workplace safety, to draw industry professionals from across Australia, and even overseas who are investigating new ideas to pave the way for their business’ growth.

NMW, held only once every two years in Sydney will take place from 11-13 May at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park. Entry is free for trade visitors. Registration for NMW 2016 is now open at www.nationalmanufacturingweek.com.au. By registering now, you’ll access a range of services, including updates via the NMW website for this year’s event.