Bang on the schedule defined by its roadmap, the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre has opened up its Manufacturing Academy - an online resource designed to equip Australian manufacturers with the knowledge to prosper in the 21st century.
The Academy website is an impressive resource, comprising more than 500 pages of in-depth research, interviews with more than 20 Australian manufacturers, and more than 50 hours of video content, distilled into five inspirational, informative modules.
It has been designed as a learning resource - for both manufacturing management and staff - and is freely accessible for anyone who cares to register, on any device and anywhere in Australia.
The content, which was revealed to the world on the second day of National Manufacturing Week is actually rather inspiring. Australian manufacturers reveal their evolution - warts and all - to help other Australian manufacturers in their journeys towards global competitiveness.
If all this sounds a bit "cheesy"… it really isn't. There are some key concepts to be appreciated here.
In the words of AMGC Managing Director Dr Jens Goennemann in launching the Academy at National Manufacturing Week in Melbourne: "There is a big misunderstanding in Australia that manufacturing is just production… it isn't." And he went on to describe the so-called "smiley curve" of manufacturing, running from R&D through to sales and beyond.
"It's about global competitiveness. It's about commercialising ideas," he added.
The website itself is well structured, offering a curated tour through the advanced manufacturing process. The modular programme offers plenty of opportunities to progress through the journey, and keeps track of the user's progress. (And future enhancements will include tests to check on comprehension before progression.)
The launch of the programme at NMW was boosted by the attendance of several of the subjects of the video content, who were keen to help promote the work of the Academy, and many of their stories involved the transition of suppliers away from the automotive sector towards higher-value activities.
Indeed, one sentiment expressed was that "history might well show that high-volume manufacturing leaving Australia was a blessing in disguise."
One of the most appealing features of the academy website and educational tour is the sheer breadth of the content that has been compiled by the AMGC over the past few months.
As Dr Goennemann points out, regardless of where in the manufacturing spectrum you sit, there will be stories that are relevant.