Innovative Manufacturing

Discover why Komatsu chose Brisbane

Brisbane excels in the area of innovative manufacturing, with strong capabilities and opportunities across a diverse range of high-value, knowledge-intensive sub-sectors that utilise information, technology and human ingenuity as key production inputs.

Home to significant industry-driven research and education facilities and some of the world’s leading producers, Brisbane offers opportunities for investment in a wealth of new and innovative high-growth sectors including machinery and equipment manufacturing, metal product manufacturing, robotics and mineral processing technology, micro-electronics and recycling, and packaging of paper, metal and plastics products.

Manufacturing is the largest industry in Brisbane in terms of contribution to GDP and employs about 95,000 people (Source: SGS Economics and Planning, Australian Cities accounts 2012-13; Brisbane City Council Economic Fact Sheet, Q2 2014). 

Brisbane is attracting more and more high added value companies... that are going to help Brisbane to become one of the economical hubs of this area of the world

Valentine Merino, Program Manager, Airbus Military

Manufacturing is also one of Queensland’s most significant and evolving industry sectors. Employing about 178,500 people in close to 10,000 businesses state-wide, manufacturing contributed $25 billion to the Queensland economy in 2013-14 (Source: ABS 6291.0 Labour Force, Employed persons by State and Industry, February 2014; ABS 5206.0 Australian National Accounts, June 2014).

More than 3000 companies have reported about $150 million in annual sales, efficiency savings, and new investments as a result of Queensland's advanced manufacturing sector in the past three years (Source: Queensland Government 2014, Investing in Queensland: Queensland’s Advanced Manufacturing Industry).

Brisbane has the talent, innovation and education to support the continued growth and development of smart and innovative manufacturing. All levels of government, in co-operation with industry, are promoting continuous innovation as the key driver of increased productivity, higher value-adding, product development, and access to new markets. These factors present significant opportunities for investment in this key sector of Brisbane’s new economy.

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Brisbane's Competitive Advantages

Excellent economic fundamentals

With more than 45 per cent of Queensland’s population and an economy valued at $135 billion, Brisbane is the economic hub and driver of the Queensland economy. Brisbane’s economy is forecast to grow by more than 60 per cent to $217 billion by 2031 (Source: Brisbane City Council, Economic Development Plan 2012-2031).

Queensland’s resources and energy sector continues to drive a significant share of the state’s wealth creation. With more than $73 billion worth of resources and energy projects under construction, this presents significant opportunities for manufacturing companies to supply much-needed technologies and machinery to large resources companies (Source: Deloitte Access Economics, Investment Monitor, September 2014).

Talent, innovation and education

Brisbane is home to significant industry-driven research and education facilities. 

SkillsTech Australia is the largest public provider of trade and technician training in Australia, delivering pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship/traineeship, and post-trade training to more than 20,000 students every year.

The Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies (QCAT)is a world-class research and development precinct focused on providing the highest standard science, engineering, and innovation to the Australian mining, exploration, minerals processing, and manufacturing industries. Advanced material engineering is an emerging R&D cluster at the QCAT precinct that focuses on light metals and fibre composites, growing sectors in Queensland's developing manufacturing industry.

The Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation at the University of Queensland (UQ) is a centre of engineering excellence established to identify and facilitate innovations in economically and environmentally sustainable processes associated with the production and use of energy, water, food, and chemicals. Established in 2012, the centre is quickly becoming a magnet for talented staff and students, affirming UQ's leadership in the fields of science and engineering.

Population growth and expanding infrastructure

Manufacturers enjoy a well-established infrastructure network in Brisbane, as well as solid plans for the future. With a population of 2.2 million, Brisbane is the principal centre of Australia’s fastest-growing region, South East Queensland. By 2031, Brisbane’s population is expected to increase to more than three million (Source: Office of Economic and Statistical Research, Queensland Treasury, medium series).


Advanced manufacturing

Key sub-sectors in advanced manufacturing include sheet metal, micro-electronics, robotics, and mineral processing technology. 

Machinery and equipment manufacturing

Queensland’s booming mining industry means Brisbane is home to some of the world’s largest mining companies. Substantial growth has created many opportunities for suppliers to service this market. 

Packaging and recycling

Brisbane City Council is one of the largest city councils in the Asia Pacific region, and is well known for its environmental responsibility and innovation. Areas of specialisation are in paper, metal and plastics recycling and packaging. 

Charan Judge

For all enquiries


Charan Judge, Manager, Investment Attraction (Industrial)
T: +61 7 3006 6223