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  • David Pender and Emilio De Stefano

Now’s the time for Aussie SMEs to shine: Getting onboard the fourth wave

With all the buzz about Industry 4.0, Australian defence sector SMEs face some clear strategic choices. They can become part of a drive to take small Australian manufacturers to the forefront of global defence supply chains, or they can step aside and let it pass them by. The $200 billion defence investment over the next decade provides the catalyst. Australia will never really compete with Europe (and others) in high volume production processes. Low volume, high value products and processes (like those in defence) are a different matter.


The 4.0 signifies the “fourth wave” in the industrial era. Each previous wave produced disruptive changes to how things were made, what was possible to make and even, how we lived our lives. The first wave created cities; the second goods that more people could afford; the third improved quality and efficiencies. Each wave was long lasting, albeit each had a shorter timeframe than its predecessor.

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Credit: this article originally appeared in Issue 44 (Aug-Oct 2018) of Defence Business, the official publication of the Defence Teaming Centre.

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