Analysis and Commentary

@AuManufacturing Conversations Episode 9 — Dr Jens Goennemann from the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre

Analysis and Commentary

In episode nine of @AuManufacturing Conversations with Brent Balinski, we speak to Dr Jens Goennemann, Managing Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre.

Goennemann tells us about Australia’s slide downwards in the latest Economic Complexity Index rankings, compiled by Harvard’s Growth Lab and released a couple of weeks ago.

Economic complexity measures the sophistication and diversity of a country’s exported goods, and a high ranking requires a country to have built up a high store of productive knowledge.

An analogy sometimes used is the letters in a scrabble rack. A good diversity of tiles means a better possibility of creating higher-scoring words, but being lumped with a bunch of the same ones is limiting.

Australia’s metaphorical scrabble rack currently looks pretty poorly, according to the recent rankings. The nation is placed 91st, sitting between Kenya and Namibia, reflecting a dependence on digging and shipping raw materials without adding much value to them.

Goennemann tells us why Australia can’t coast on its resources forever, why manufacturing is the answer, and a few other things, such as his view on how balanced the level of support for fundamental versus applied research is in Australia’s innovation ecosystem.

“If we are capable and we are able to make complex things, the future’s ours.” 

Episode guide:

1:40 – Professional and personal background.

2:42 – Our economic complexity and why it matters.

3:40 – High economic complexity countries and what we can learn from them.

4:50 – We need to understand what manufacturing is, and where the value is added within manufacturing.

6:20 – The structure of Australian manufacturing and the need to have stable, long-term policies to support it.

9:20 – A disagreement over research excellence at the Innovation Papers Live event.

11:42 – There are advocates for universities, but not many for those trying to commercialise university research.

14:30 – What are the opportunities to build scale in Australian manufacturing?

16 – Why we should view manufacturing as a capability rather than a sector

If you enjoy the conversation, please subscribe, leave a review via the podcast platform of your choice, and help us spread the word.

Full disclosure: The author is a contract copywriter for AMGC.

Picture: supplied

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