Transforming Australian manufacturing

The technology

In June 2015, the Hon Ian Macfarlane, Australian Federal Minister for Industry and Science announced a $40 million government investment in the new Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) to accelerate Australia’s transition into high value, knowledge-based manufacturing and brings together a powerful coalition of businesses and researchers.

The IMCRC’s four research themes will deliver high-impact programs of collaborative research to intersect with challenges of Australian industry. The IMCRC will focus on the needs of industry, which will be met by emerging technologies delivered by Australia’s finest researchers. IMCRC’s multidisciplinary research programs will provide significant benefits to participants and create important insights to be shared with the wider industry ‘Portal Partner’ community.

The Commonwealth’s grant will be matched by more than $210 million of cash and in-kind contributions from industry, research institutions and state governments that will lift the total budget to over $250 million to seed the process of transformation.

The partnership

The University of Melbourne provides significant leadership to the development of the IMCRC that will engage leading researchers from the University faculties of Engineering, Economics and Commerce, Medicine and Science. Its head office will be based in Melbourne at the University’s Carlton Connect Initiative and will operate from nodes around the nation.

The IMCRC is a collaboration of:

  • 14 manufacturing companies and end users who are already global, innovative and prepared to innovate further
  • four peak industry associations who will facilitate access to research talent for thousands of SME’s
  • 16 Australian universities, CSIRO and the Fraunhofer Institute of Laser Technology.

The outcome

IMCRC’s research programmes will concentrate on the high-growth sectors recently identified in the Commonwealth Government's ‘Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda’. The IMCRC will work in close cooperation with the new Industry Growth Centres (IGCs) to help companies build the innovative capacity to develop market-ready opportunities. Participating peak industry ‘Portal Organisations’ will help facilitate the mission of the IGCs to better understand the needs of industry and to inform policy recommendations for government to improve Australia’s competitiveness.