Revitalising Manufacturing Research Down Under: Lessons From Germany For Australia

Luke attended the OECD forum. He is currently studying his PhD at the University of South Australia in the field of International Relations, specifically examining Transitional Justice. 


This paper will contend that the manufacturing sector has a crucial role as a competitive and viable part of Australia’s future economy despite the recent trend towards deindustrialization. Australia’s situation is contrasted with the case of Germany, a nation which has maintained a highly successful and competitive national manufacturing industry in spite of rising costs and cheaper overseas competition. This analysis focuses specifically a few central aspects to Germany’s manufacturing success: the turn to smart manufacturing, attention to small-medium sized manufacturing firms, and the public-private Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft research institute. This research aims to critically examine the differences within the Australian situation regarding the manufacturing sector, in order to better identify the ways in which Australia can effectively learn from the German model in order to revitalise the manufacturing sector.

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