Building a stronger future for manufacturing in Western Sydney

Professor Scott Holmes, Lindsay MP Fiona Scott, and Small Business Minister Bruce Billson  

A program funded by the Federal Government will see the University of Western Sydney work with local manufacturers to explore new ways to collaborate and modernise their operations in a fresh drive to revitalise the industry.

The Western Sydney Future Advanced Manufacturing Advisory project takes advantage of recent changes in high cost environments such as the UK and the USA, where new business models have helped struggling manufacturing industries return to growth and long term sustainability.

The Advisory project will be delivered through a unique model developed by the UWS Small Business Support Centre, which will bring local manufactures together for a series of lectures and online learning modules, followed by 'one on one' mentoring sessions.

By working with local manufacturers to redefine their business models and collaborate effectively across the supply chain, UWS will help reinvigorate the industry and give small and medium enterprises the best chance of succeeding in the 21st century.

The Minister for Small Business, the Hon Bruce Billson, says advanced manufacturing is an area offering enormous opportunities for Australia's small businesses.

"The operators of small businesses are the backbone of local communities and, indeed, Australia's economy, and– these new services will help businesses to succeed and grow," he says.

The UWS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barney Glover, says the Advisory project is a critical initiative for the advanced manufacturing sector in Western Sydney, and for the future of manufacturing in Australia.

"Western Sydney like several other leading manufacturing regions is facing significant challenges, and we recognise the importance of developing innovation to build a competitive advantage," says Professor Glover.

"Working with this funding from the Commonwealth, we will able to unlock the resources of the University and work closely with industry to support the evidence-based transformation of the local industry, helping them to redefine their business models and value chain strategies."

"This project has been developed within the University through our internal blended learning program, and we are extremely pleased to now be able to leverage this expertise into industry training and development for the benefit of our region."

The Federal Member for Lindsay, Fiona Scott, says many small business operators are experts in their chosen field but quality advice from experts with real business experience.

"By gaining a better understanding of fundamental areas like strategy development, business modelling, and financial planning, we can help our small business owners access new opportunities in emerging markets," says Ms Scott.

Funded by a $106,000 grant from the Federal Government's Small Business Advisory Service, the Western Sydney Future Advanced Manufacturing Advisory project will be delivered through UWS' Small Business Support Centre at the UWS Parramatta City Campus, and will begin from July 1st 2014.

The project is part of a wider initiative by the UWS School of Business to incorporate research projects with a proposal to establish an Advanced Manufacturing Knowledge Hub at the future "UWS Smart Business Centre".


1 August 2014

Mark Smith, Senior Media Officer

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