Advanced Manufacturing - Capability Statement

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Develop and support existing industries while enabling the development of a new and advanced manufacturing sector.


Key facts for the Advanced Manufacturing Priority

  • It is estimated that approximately $440 million of the $2.65 billion supporting national priorities is allocated directly to the Advanced Manufacturing Priority area.*
  • In terms of citation impact, an indicator of research quality, Australian research on this Priority ranks:
    • 2nd out of 10 when compared against selected Asia Pacific countries **
    • 3rd out of 14 when compared to selected European countries, Canada and New Zealand.***
  • 55 per cent of Australian publications are produced with an international co-author.


*  Data on two key initiatives – university research block grants and the R&D taxincentive – are not collected in a way that supports analysis against priorities.
** Selected Asia Pacific countries: India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.
*** Selected European countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

China and the United States were not included for the Advanced Manufacturing Prioritydue to database constraints on publication numbers.

Current research strengths

Australia is conducting high quality research in advanced manufacturing, with particular strength in a number of cross- cutting or key enabling technologies. Australia’s existing research strengths include:

  • robotics automation and simulation capabilities
  • big data and data mining
  • additive manufacturing
  • advanced materials
  • synthetic biology
  • photonics
  • quantum computing
  • nanotechnology.


Practical challenges

  1. Knowledge of Australia’s comparative advantages, constraints and capacity to meet current and emerging global and domestic demand.
  2. Cross-cutting technologies that will de-risk, scale up, and add value to Australian manufactured products.
  3. Specialised, high value-add areas such as high-performance materials, composites, alloys and polymers.


Action within this Priority will support R&D that is critical to the future of advanced manufacturing and maintain a pipeline of industry-ready STEM graduates. It will assist Australia to overcome current research weaknesses and take advantage of strengths by:

  • strategically aligning Australia’s research focus with its strengths in manufacturing
  • strengthening engagement between research and industry (particularly small to medium-sized enterprises)
  • scaling-up existing activities that add value to Australian manufactured products
  • improving Australia’s capability in cyber-physical systems interfaces.

International Citation Comparison, 2010 to 2014

For this Priority, each circle represents one of the comparator countries, grouped into region by colour: circle size represents number of publications, while circle placement indicates the country’s weighted citations relative to Australia. Data are from Thomson Reuters InCites, with the Priority identified   by a keyword search.

Australian Government Expenditure on Science and Research Priorities

The Australian Government invests $9.7 billion in science, research and innovation. Approximately $2.65 billion of this investment can be attributed to research aligned to the nine Science and Research priorities. Data on university block grants and the R&D tax incentive – two key initiatives that have critical roles in supporting strategic, mission-directed research - are not collected in a way that supports analysis against the priorities.

Sources: 2015-16 Science, Research and Innovation Budget Tables; Research Strategies Australia, Science and Research Priorities and Practical Challenges, May 2015.

Australia’s Science and Research Priorities

Australia’s Science and Research Priorities identify areas that are of immediate and critical importance to the nation and its place in the world. They help align our research to industry and will make sure that we capitalise on our comparative advantages and address challenges.

The Australian Government will use the Priorities to guide a proportion of its research investment to areas of critical need and national importance. This capability snapshot is a vital step to make sure that we get this strategic investment right – it is about understanding what we spend now, what we are good at and where we need to improve.

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