The Issue

Australian manufacturing has declined over the last 40 years. The Fourth Industrial Revolution – Industry 4.0 – has created new possibilities for the manufacturing sector.

Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, additive manufacturing, robotics, and other emerging technology has the potential to change Australia’s competitiveness in the manufacturing sector.

Accurate and available information from ecosystem mapping is needed to provide a greater understanding of the advanced manufacturing sector in Australia. This mapping will also highlight opportunities for collaboration, process improvement, and customer-and-supplier identification on a global scale.


The project aimed to identify best practice methodologies in the advanced manufacturing ecosystem. During the project our researchers developed a sustainable model that continuously gathers data to chart Australia’s progress in building capabilities in the Industry 4.0 space.

A three-step search strategy identified global best practices. First, we searched advanced manufacturing rankings to identify those countries leading the world in Industry 4.0. Second, we systematically searched the websites of innovation agencies, and related organisations in the selected countries to create maps of advanced manufacturing ecosystems. Third, we identified websites of other public and private organisations that support Industry 4.0 programs.

Maps of advanced manufacturing ecosystems were identified in eight of the 25 countries leading the world in Industry 4.0, including Spain, Canada, Japan, Germany, and Sweden. These maps identified various types of advanced manufacturing ecosystems, including capability development for small-to-medium enterprises and start-ups.

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