Global access to information, experience and new ideas are driving a global movement where people of all ages can design, develop and produce their creations. Anyone can be an inventor and manufacturing is becoming tailored, smaller scale and localised. Thanks to affordable technology and global interconnectivity individual makers can launch smaller companies to manufacture and market their products. WA, the only state founded by free settlers, is Australia’s entrepreneurial capital, and it gives us an unparalleled opportunity to take advantage of.
Entrepreneurism is so pervasive in WA that it is taken for granted - often one only realises how entrepreneurial WA is after observing the lack of entrepreneurialism elsewhere. After decades of east coast focus, the tyranny of distance is now reversed and WA is now closer to its markets than the majority of Australia. Perth is no longer remote, and through globalisation, is in the ‘Goldilocks zone’. The global shift in industry is transforming how we learn, shop, work, and interact. Here are several ways this ‘World of Makers’ impacts WA:
These days there are very few restrictions on producing anything anyone wants. Parts, components, software, systems, etc, can all be purchased from specialist firms and assembled into something new, or even 3D printed. Capital for investment can now be sourced from around the world. It really comes down to the drive and imagination an individual has.
Jobs and Economic Growth
The number of world-class companies that originate from and/or operate in WA are truly astounding considering the population size. The list is long and extensive. Also coming through are a continuing multitude of new companies that drive economic growth across many sectors. WA is a world entrepreneurial hotspot and these new industries companies are starting to replace traditional businesses. One homegrown example is a company that generates digital twins of production facilities that will fundamentally disrupt the EPC/EPCM contracting industry within the next 10 years. Transformation is occurring across all sectors. It is a question of when these changes will occur rather than if; ignoring these changes is not an option. The industry players that remain will be those that embrace the changes and adapt their business models accordingly.
Makers are sharers. It is extraordinary how much information is on the internet about anything, from how to build your own drone through to building NMC battery cells. It is human nature to want to collaborate. We collaborate because it is a disadvantage not to. Those who insist on working in isolation get left behind or produce products that are not compatible with others.
This age of open source. Companies need to be flexible and nimble in incorporating the latest and best technology to achieve a vision. This is a complete reversal of traditional manufacturing. This new mindset is best developed in an environment of similar people and companies, hence the rise of industrial parks, specialised clusters, incubators, and collaborative workspaces. This is what InfraNomics is building at Lithium Valley and DroneHub and it will change the face of WA.
Is the traditional education model still relevant? A lot of school-based learning is obsolete the day the pupil leaves, so perhaps it is time to review whether rote learning is still the most appropriate teaching model for our children. The most important skills our children should leave school with are the ability to learn how to learn and the understanding of how to apply knowledge. There is an opportunity to engage more closely with schools and universities to incorporate pupils into the “maker” ecosystem. Students can participate in an environment that encourages them to generate new ideas and develop practical skills from real life experiences. This can only have a positive impact on the community.
WA is ideally positioned in the world of makers due to its bounty of raw materials, ideal location, space, high quality workforce, western legal system, and outstanding lifestyle options. In a world of makers, anyone can be an entrepreneur, inventor, and innovator. The collective creativity being generated around the world will dramatically transform society in a positive way and WA is in the middle of it.
For more information please contact Cameron Edwards +61 434 714 377