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AIBC discussion forum identifies significant opportunities in Smart manufacturing

Advanced Manufacturing describes businesses and supply chains that have established sustainable global competitiveness through advanced capabilities and characteristics.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that around $1.5 billion in new funding will be invested over the next four years in the Modern Manufacturing Strategy to make Australian manufacturers more competitive, resilient, and able to scale-up to take on the world.  Manufacturing is a $30 billion industry and a cornerstone of the Victorian economy, providing a diverse range of jobs, boosting exports, and contributing to economic growth.

Make in India, the visionary program by Government of India under Prime Minister Modi, has created significant growth in the Indian manufacturing Industry. This also means Indian manufacturing to be capturing more global market, be competitive and building advanced or smart manufacturing capabilities.  Globally Smart Manufacturing will be focussed on Industry 4.0, Advanced Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and IOT (Digital manufacturing) and similar technologies.

Keeping this in view, the Australia India Business Council (AIBC)  Make in India Chapter and the AIBC Victoria Chapter, jointly organised  a high profile discussion forum on, “Shaping the future of Industry through Smart Manufacturing,” on Friday,4 December 2020, with invited speakers from both India and Australia including Mr. Innes Willcox- Australian Industry Group (AIG) -Chief Executive Officer, Ms Michelle Wade – Global Victoria – Commissioner – South Asia, Mr Michael Sharpe – Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) – National Director – Industry, Mr Rakesh Arora – L&T Construction – Head – Proposals, Heavy Civil Infrastructure, Mr Anand Pandey – L&T Infrastructure Engineering Limited – CEO, Mr Narayan Manjunath Vernekar – L&T Construction – Manager, Business Development, Heavy Civil Infrastructure, and Professor Bas Baskaran – Deakin University –  Pro Vice Chancellor International Research Partnerships.

Mr Jim Varghese AM – AIBC National Chair in his opening remarks stated that “AIBC as an outcome focussed organisation has organised this important forum to discuss priorities of the manufacturing sector, smart manufacturing and Business to business collaborative strategies.”

Mrs Ravneet Pawha – AIBC Victoria State President welcoming the invited speakers and panellists said that manufacturing was an important contributor to trade with India and Australian Federal Government and Victorian Government have announced a strategy to enhance manufacturing activities. Make in India would significantly facilitate smart manufacturing.  Mrs Pawha recommended release of a paper outlining the key recommendations from the discussion forum.

Mr Vish Viswanathan – AIBC Make in India Chair said, “the global manufacturing has been growing phenomenally and smart manufacturing standards like Industry 4.0 and technologies have been driving this growth.” Vish presented an overview of Australian and Indian manufacturing scenarios and stated collaboration would the key mantra in the bilateral Business to business engagement in Smart Manufacturing moving forward.

Ms Michelle Wade – Global Victoria – Commissioner – South Asia welcoming the discussions on Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 as timely, elaborated the various business to business engagements already happening or in the pipeline on Smart Manufacturing.  Michelle highlighted the key programs in Victoria, ongoing business to business engagements in manufacturing and futuristic collaborative opportunities.

Mr Michael Sharpe – Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre – National Director said, “manufacturing was on the move and collaboration between businesses was the key driver.”  He elaborated on many examples of such collaborative ventures including manufacture of ventilators and highlighted supply chain opportunities for Indian companies.  Mr Sharpe stated, “that the partnership between AMGC and AIBC was bearing fruits already and this was the perfect time for bilateral manufacturing engagements.”

Mr Innes Willox – Australian Industry Group (AIG) – Chief Executive Officer said, “that Australia India relationship has come a long way.” He stated that “collaboration and partnerships are important aspects in this relationship. Future of manufacturing sector is Smart. Investment, trade access, standards and collaboration will be key drivers for smart manufacturing. Smart Sovereignty is the key to future. Australian Industries should collaborate more with Indian companies for Industry 4.0 harmonisation”.

Mr Rakesh Arora – Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Construction – Head  Proposals, Heavy Civil Infrastructure, presented an overview of Larsen & Toubro Group and highlighted capabilities of the organisation in smart construction. Mr Anand Pandey – L& T Infrastructure Engineering Limited – CEO, elaborated on the infrastructure engineering services and technologies applied by the organisation. Mr Narayan Manjunath Vernekar – L&T Construction – Manager, Business Development, Heavy Civil Infrastructure, outlined current technical consultancy partnerships with Australian companies and stated that L&T was looking forward to participating in more construction projects in Australia.

Professor Bas Baskaran – Deakin University – Pro Vice Chancellor International Research Partnerships, presented a detailed overview of the research projects and programs in Artificial intelligence, carbon fibre, Infrastructure, mobility and advanced manufacturing in their Geelong campus. He also highlighted on current partnerships and research collaborations in India in Digital Manufacturing,

There was a brief Q&A interactive session with queries moderated by Mr Jim Varghese AM – AIBC National Chair.

 Ms Reet Phulwani from AIBC Victorian Chapter presented a   Vote of Thanks to all keynote speakers, participants and sponsors.

Mr Jim Varghese AM – AIBC National Chair concluded the successful discussion forum with each speaker quoting the three key words as takeaways to progress on bilateral engagements in smart and advanced manufacturing.

AIBC will continue to work with Australian and Indian Industry to provide platforms to promote advanced manufacturing.

The AIBC is a not-for-profit organization facilitating and linking businesses, exporters and investors in Australia and India.



Mr Jim Varghese AM, National Chair, Australia India Business Council Ltd.

E:    M: +61 474 739 479

Mrs Ravneet Pawha, President, AIBC Victoria Chapter

Email:        M: +91 9811013915

Mr. Vish Viswanathan, National Chair – AIBC Make in India Chapter 
E:           M: +61 411 104 249