With a strong network of research and development institutions, a highly skilled workforce and high levels of collaboration, Brisbane designs, develops and manufactures products that add value at every stage of the supply chain. From hyper-personalised medicine and robotic automation to advancements in food and agricultural technology, sports technology and green building material innovation, Brisbane has harnessed its strengths in science, technology and manufacturing to become one of the world’s 50 most innovative cities.
Brisbane’s home state of Queensland has been recognised as a global Advanced Manufacturing Hub by the World Economic Forum, connecting the city to a global network of advanced manufacturing companies. Brisbane itself has also been recognised as one of the world’s 50 most innovative cities for its cutting-edge approach to technology.
Brisbane is home to nation-leading research, including The ARM (Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing) Hub, which works with industry and academia to develop commercial advanced manufacturing solutions that drive growth across a range of sectors.
Brisbane’s strong advanced manufacturing capability makes it possible for the city’s network of cutting-edge research institutes, universities and hospitals to transform ideas into new products and services.
The Translational Research Institute (TRI), for instance, is an Australian-first facility where biopharmaceuticals and treatments are discovered, produced, clinically tested and manufactured in one location. TRI’s Translational Manufacturing facility, the first of its kind in Australia, will enable start-ups to grow and scale up in Brisbane, and deliver the capability to rapidly scale up manufacturing capacity in response to national and international demand.
The Food Pilot Plant at Brisbane’s Health and Food Sciences Precinct is a state-of-the-art facility designed to service the needs of local food and beverage businesses. The pilot plant and associated food technology, sensory and consumer science facilities are available to help researchers and industry experiment and trial new products and processes under industrial conditions.
Brisbane’s advanced manufacturing aptitude also presents opportunities for protein processors of all sizes to improve the efficiency of their operations. Queensland is responsible for 47% of Australia’s total beef production, and Brisbane is the nation’s beef processing capital, with a majority of Australia’s major export-certified abattoirs and processing facilities – including Australian Country Choice, Hilton Food Group, JBS Cold Stores, Teys and Stanbroke – headquartered in the city.
Brisbane’s status as an aerospace hub also benefits the advanced manufacturing sector. Virgin Australia is headquartered in Brisbane, and half of the world’s top 10 aerospace companies have a presence in the city, including Airbus Australia, Boeing Northrup Grumman, GE Aviation and Raytheon Australia.
In the next decade, its predicted global aircraft engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) will become a US$474.8 billion growth area, with 33% of MRO demand focused on the Indo-Pacific region, sparking further investment in aerospace technology.
Advanced manufacturing is also at the core of many emerging knowledge-driven seed industries identified in the CSIRO and the Queensland University of Technology’s Centre for Future Enterprise report.
Brisbane’s advanced manufacturing capabilities, combined with its other strengths – including its geographical proximity to Asia’s largest markets, its highly skilled workforce and its world-class research resources – are expected to give the city an advantage in commercialising these industries as they emerge.
These seed industries include additive biomanufacturing and AI-enabled healthcare (with a growing cluster of AI start-ups in Brisbane already using AI for healthcare applications), as well as green metal manufacturing, resource recovery technologies, agricultural sensors and automation, supply chain provenance technologies and disaster resilience and response technologies.
All of these seed industries are expected to draw upon Brisbane’s maturity in advanced manufacturing capabilities to develop the technologies needed for them to grow and scale, as the city continues to establish itself as a global hub of innovation.