Analysis and Commentary

Search for industry partners for Surface Manufacturing CRC – by Atif Majeed

Analysis and Commentary

Researchers led by UniSA and Swinburne University of Technology are searching for companies wanting to develop surface processing capabilities in a planned Surface Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre. Here, Atif Majeed explains how SMEs can elevate their technological capabilities and develop competitiveness through involvement in a CRC.

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are vital catalysts for innovation and economic growth, directly contributing to the dynamic creation of jobs across various markets.

Accounting for 60 per cent to 70 percent of jobs in most OECD countries and up to half of the GDP in emerging economies, their impact is both profound and essential.

SMEs are able to quickly respond to market shifts, leading the charge in the development and commercialization of new technologies and services, driving competition, and propelling industries forward.

In Australia, the cruciality of SMEs is evident as they comprise 98 percent of all businesses, contributing 57 percent of the GDP and employing around seven million people, or 67 percent of the workforce.

To learn more about the benefits of joining a new Surface Manufacturing CRC, researchers have organised an online information session specially for @AuManufacturing readers on Wednesday, 22 November, 10:30 am – 11:45 am ACDT Register here.

Their significant role extends beyond employment generation; they are the engines powering the economy, key to ensuring resilience and fostering a diverse industrial landscape. SMEs operate within an array of sectors, providing employment opportunities that cater to diverse skills and interests.

The manufacturing industry in Australia, historically a cornerstone of the economy, has seen SMEs drive innovation and economic advancement.

Yet, recent shifts toward a service-based economy, globalisation, and international competition have impacted traditional manufacturing, necessitating adaptability among SMEs to remain viable.

The future prosperity of Australian SMEs in manufacturing depends on their capacity to innovate—a challenge best met through collaboration between government, academia, and research institutions.

The Surface Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (SMCRC) bid is focused on harnessing this collective power to uplift SMEs’ global competitiveness and foster an environment ripe for innovation.

This initiative is crucial in a rapidly changing global market, where SMEs must enhance their capabilities in innovation and technology. The SMCRC bid aims to forge a robust support system, granting SMEs access to state-of-the-art R&D, facilitating knowledge exchange, and nurturing skill development.

It seeks to make government and university resources more accessible to SMEs, streamline collaboration, tailor funding for manufacturing innovation, and connect SMEs with industry experts and researchers.

The essence of the SM CRC bid transcends providing mere resources; it’s dedicated to cultivating a culture of innovation and cooperation. The ambition is to transform Australian SMEs into leaders of the global manufacturing economy, distinguished by their innovation, quality, and competitive edge.

Atif Majeed is Business Development Manager at the University of South Australia.

Picture: Atif Majeed

This series is brought to you by UniSA on behalf of the proposed Surface Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre.

Surface Engineering and Manufacturing optimise material properties, customise products, enhancing their longevity and performance. For SMEs, it’s a gateway to innovation, reducing costs and fostering global competitiveness by delivering superior and tailored solutions. Companies can join us in our Surface Manufacturing CRC bid to shape the future of sustainable and competitive manufacturing in Australia.

To learn more, register for the online information session, Wednesday, 22 November, 10:30 am – 11:45 am ACDT Register here. …… Or email [email protected].

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