“When we were first impacted by COVID-19, we had manufacturers reaching out to us to say, how can we help?” says Michael Sharpe, Director of Industry at AMGC.
The rallying together of manufacturers during this crisis is a proud moment for the sector, with the AMGC having a front-row seat in connecting Government, manufacturers and industry together.
At the peak of COVID-19, the AMCG played a fundamental role in ensuring that manufacturers were able to respond quickly through their Manufacturers Response Register. This register allowed manufacturers, universities and the greater industry to share and leverage their capabilities and is still in use today.
“We knew long before this current crisis that we needed to break down the barriers between our researchers and industry. In response to COVID, we've seen some great projects that we've been able to co-fund and it demonstrates how research can be put into action…I see that the universities and local industry are collaborating to take new products to the world right now,” says Michael.
Michaels says that AMGC was able to assist during COVID-19 in three key areas:
- Advice on making workplaces safer
- Bringing Australian manufacturers together to create a complete local supply chain for critical needs – such as hospital beds – which has now opened up export opportunities for Australian manufacturers
- Providing advice on go-to-market approaches for companies that we're pivoting to meet new demands.
The AMGC plays a large role in fostering collaborations and it hopes that the acceleration of collaboration from COVID-19 continues well into the future. This includes the uptake of another initiative - the AMGC’s learning academy - which was set up last year.
“…The Learning Academy, is a portal that connects manufacturing organisations with industry, and focuses on a collaborative effort to help their business grow,” says Michael.
“We've been able to interview our members and let them share their stories about how they are transforming their business to become advanced manufacturers.”
This includes export opportunities, digital transformation and connecting manufacturers with university researchers, and other organisations.
Overall, Michael prefers to talk about manufacturing industry as a ‘capability’, and this was demonstrated in their ability to pivot quickly at the start of the crisis, and the power of collaboration across the sector.