Manufacturing the future for teaching and research

The pandemic made chifleyites of us all

The House of Reps Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Resources is inquiring into developing advanced manufacturing, submissions focus on how, not why.

The Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering’s first recommendation is to the use the National Reconstruction Fund to increase “sovereign capacity.” Among other proposals it calls for “education providers” to be helped “to establish priority STEM programmes.

The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences: calls for “advance manufacturing plants and facilities that can produce medicines and vaccines at scale for export” plus having HQs here and “a skilled local workforce” would mean, “if there is a global crisis we have what we need on Australian soil to provide for the Australian population and potentially also to support those in our region.”

Monash U Engineering: reports on its many excellent initiatives” and suggests, “advanced manufacturing techniques can offer significant opportunities for Australia in terms of job creation, productivity, value-add. It propagates, protects, and preserves sovereign manufacturing capability.”

Deakin U: Deakin U calls for investment in regional manufacturing, “where Australia can take a lead role in translating local research excellence into globally leading manufacturing excellence.”

There’s more from the HE and research sectors but you get the idea

Where this comes from: In the pandemic-depths of 2020 Anthony Albanese celebrated the 75th anniversary of Ben Chifley becoming prime minister, “we need to channel the same spirit – the same leadership,” he tweeted.

Mr Alabanese extended the point in ’21 “Today we face another crisis. Another opportunity to rebuild our country. We used to make things in Australia. With some vision and a change of government, we can do it again.”

During WWII disrupted supply-lines meant Australia struggled with shortages of imported manufactures and a generational consensus followed, that we must manufacture our own essentials.

Our pandemic dependence on imported pharmaceuticals and the crash programme to make the ventilators we did not already manufacture and could not buy overeseas had the same impact.

When it comes to manufacturing R&D Australians are chifleyites now.