Queensland has been recognised as a global Advanced Manufacturing Hub by the World Economic Forum (WEF), a designation that will connect the state’s manufacturing sector with a global network of advanced manufacturers.
The World Economic Forum is an internationally recognised organisation focused on improving the world’s business sector and shaping manufacturing globally.
This announcement comes after WEF officials toured the state late last year, visiting manufacturing businesses and attending industry roundtables in Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns and Toowoomba.
Minister for Manufacturing Cameron Dick said Queensland is rightly being acknowledged as a world-leader when it comes to the changing face of technology on the factory floor.
“Being confirmed a WEF Advanced Manufacturing Hub is a badge of honour that will open more doors internationally and generate more business for Queensland,” Mr Dick said.
“This designation recognises our state’s manufacturing ingenuity and the global potential of our $20 billion sector and the businesses that make it.
“In partnership with WEF, we’ll look to bring together industry, universities and TAFE, government, and other key stakeholders for a series of regional roundtables, once social distancing restrictions are lifted.
“These will generate new paths of action for Queensland to accelerate the transformation of local manufacturing to advanced manufacturing.
“The coronavirus situation is creating significant challenges right now, but our manufacturers are standing tall to tackle the impacts of the pandemic head on,” he said.
“We’re seeing distillers making sanitiser, plastics manufacturers moving into PPE, and collaboration and support right along the supply chain.
“It’s our identity as manufacturing innovators that’s being recognised by WEF, a fact we should be incredibly proud of as a state.
“Being part of the WEF network will strengthen our government’s work in transitioning more of our manufacturing firms to advanced manufacturing through the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies and practices.”
The WEF partnership also opens up key networks for Queensland manufacturers, including the forum’s Global Lighthouse Network.
This community of world-leading manufacturers, including Siemens, Bosch, Hitachi and GE Healthcare, have successfully transformed their global operations through the introduction of advanced technologies.
Innovation Minister Kate Jones said manufacturing was the sixth largest employer in Queensland, supporting more than 165,000 people.
“We’re investing in advanced manufacturing to create thousands more jobs for Queenslanders and to boost our economy,” Ms Jones said.
“We have a detailed strategy to invest in industries that have the best potential to create jobs in regional Queensland – advanced manufacturing is a big part of that vision.
“This is great recognition for our state – and shows that we’re a world leader in this space.”
Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp said a key reason the World Economic Forum awarded Queensland special advanced manufacturing hub status was due to its high level of collaboration between all levels of government, businesses and researchers, and a unique approach to open innovation.
Ms Kemp, who is also Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Future of Manufacturing, said this marked Queensland out globally.
“We are gaining a reputation as a place where great ideas are born,” she said.
“And you see this throughout the state, we have the Queensland Government and local councils working with local companies and universities to set up innovation hubs, such as the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct – a partnership between the Queensland Government, the City of Gold Coast, Griffith University and Gold Coast Health.”
The head of WEF’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production Francisco Betti said Queensland joins an international network of Advanced Manufacturing Hubs that includes France, Italy and the US.
“Now is a critical moment to showcase Queensland’s innovative and collaborative spirit on a global stage,” Mr Betti said.
“This will also prove an opportunity to help regional manufacturers become more competitive through advanced manufacturing technologies and business models.”
Learn more about advanced manufacturing in Queensland.
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Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Cameron Dick
Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for Cross River Rail
The Honourable Kate Jones