A NSW Government website

Modern Manufacturing in NSW

Modern manufacturing sits at the centre of NSW’s future economy, bringing together both traditional skills and emerging technologies.

Science Lab

Modern manufacturing involves advanced knowledge, process and skills, advanced business models, sustainability, high productivity, and customer satisfaction. It involves not only what is being produced, but how it is produced.

Advanced knowledge

Innovations, experience, skills, and collaboration across, and within, industries and institutions.

Advanced processes

Using state-of-the-art technologies such as digitisation, connectivity, automation, advanced materials used to improve efficiencies of processes such as those utilising energy and water including reuse, recycle, remanufacturing, recovery, and clean energy

Advanced business models

Customisable business solutions, logistics operations, service capabilities, and exports.

NSW introduces a Modern Manufacturing Commissioner

Lisa Emerson

The Modern Manufacturing Commissioner for NSW is Lisa Emerson MSc. Lisa brings more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing across a range of sectors in Australia and the United States, including at biotech company Saluda Medical and medical devices company Cochlear Limited. Lisa commenced the role in September 2022.

Advancing the development of modern manufacturing in NSW

The Commissioner's remit is to develop and implement a strategy to grow manufacturing capabilities in NSW. The strategy will create new employment opportunities and drive economic success for the state. Her role includes providing leadership and evidence-based insights through consultation, collaboration and coordination for all NSW Government initiatives supporting the manufacturing industry, alongside a focus on fostering close direct relationships with industry, academia, and other levels of government.

The Commissioner's key focus in 2023 will be the development of the Modern Manufacturing Strategy for NSW.

The Commissioner's office can be contacted via email to [email protected].

Making it in NSW with Lisa Emerson

Welcome to Making it in NSW with Lisa Emerson. In this video series, the Modern Manufacturing Commissioner showcases some of NSW’s most advanced and innovative manufacturers.

This includes insights into the knowledge, processes and business models that drive these homegrown success stories. Watch the first video in the series and stay tuned for more.

To learn more about how Investment NSW can help grow your modern manufacturing business please contact us.

Read the transcript of the 'Making it in NSW GME' video

[Making it in NSW with Lisa Emerson GME video script:]

Lisa Emerson, Modern Manufacturing Commissioner, Investment NSW GME makes CB radios and emergency beacons, they’re a unique local manufacturer, I'm really excited to be here today to have a look at all their innovations. Hi, Stephen, Lisa.

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME Hi Lisa, pleasure to meet you. Welcome to GME.

Lisa Emerson, Modern Manufacturing Commissioner, Investment NSW Thank you.

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME We looked at our business and said, what do we do that can make it better for our operators and help us be more productive? And we essentially took processes that were discrete operator stations and put them into a continuous assembly line.

Lisa Emerson, Modern Manufacturing Commissioner, Investment NSW And this is a little conveyor belt.

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME Correct. So it’s like a big sushi train. A big part of what we're wanting to do here was about, you know, operator comfort, avoiding RSI, injuries and those sorts of things. From our perspective, that's where the productivity improvement is.

Lisa Emerson, Modern Manufacturing Commissioner, Investment NSW And then at the end we have a very special operator I can see here.

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME At the end we have Archie. So Archie's the robot. Archie's the mechanical part of the process, but what's really happening here is an automated testing system, which is what these jigs are.

Lisa Emerson, Modern Manufacturing Commissioner, Investment NSW What happened to the employee that used to be doing this job?

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME So the employees that used to be in this job are doing these jobs at the same time as we've been introducing this. Our total headcount has gone up. So they're employing more people.

Greg Adams, Process Worker/tester, GME With the new machines that we have now. We can basically punch out triple, triple the quantity, the output.

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME That’s an EPIRB from 1984.

Lisa Emerson, Modern Manufacturing Commissioner, Investment NSW And then from that, essentially, I know this is a personal one, to that.

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME It has the same capability. In fact, it has more because this is a GPS unit as well. But 100% Australian owned and has been for the entire 63 years.

Lisa Emerson, Modern Manufacturing Commissioner, Investment NSW And why NSW?

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME Well, that's a great question. We wouldn't want to move. You know, we've got a great labour force. The environment is very supportive to us. We've had a good association with Investment NSW as we've deliberately branched out into the defence community. So we've been with them on a number of the defence exhibitions and shows that have been around the last few years.

Lisa Emerson, Modern Manufacturing Commissioner, Investment NSW How important is modern manufacturing to GME?

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME Yes, look, it's been really important for us. It's enabled us to take our core asset which is people and make them more efficient, you know, make their jobs safer, make them more comfortable. So, you know, it's sort of a win win for us.


A leading radio communications manufacturer operating out of Western Sydney.

The Modern Manufacturing Taskforce

Announced in late 2021, the Modern Manufacturing Taskforce was an independent expert advisory taskforce appointed to provide advice to the NSW Government on facilitating and accelerating the development and adoption of modern manufacturing capabilities across the state.

The Taskforce included relevant industry and academic representatives and key stakeholders, all bringing specialist experience and skills, relevant network connections and contemporary understanding of the NSW business environment and opportunities for modern manufacturing. The Taskforce members were:

  • Mr Tony Shepherd, Modern Manufacturing Taskforce Chair
  • Mr Chris Jenkins, Country Director and CEO, Thales Australia
  • Dr Bronwyn Evans, CEO Engineers Australia
  • Professor Roy Green, Special Innovation Adviser, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise) University of Technology Sydney (UTS)
  • Dig Howitt, CEO and President, Cochlear Limited.

The Modern Manufacturing Taskforce Report

The Taskforce delivered its Report, Making it in NSW, in July 2022. It provides a vision for the NSW Government to grow the economy of NSW and Australia, by reinstating manufacturing as a major economic force.

The NSW Government commends the Modern Manufacturing Taskforce for its Report, and thanks them for the effort and expertise that has gone into compiling this important piece of work.

The Taskforce presented a bold and clear vision for the NSW Government to:

Grow the economy of NSW and Australia by reinstating manufacturing as a major economic force, thus ensuring a reasonable level of domestic self-sufficiency in the supply of, and local support for, critical equipment, materials, and supplies, diversifying our exports and generally raising the prosperity of all Australians.

The Report identifies seven key themes as areas of focus for the NSW Government:

  1. A coordinated approach
  2. Support for structured collaboration
  3. Promotion of modern manufacturing including new entrepreneurial ventures
  4. New approach to public procurement
  5. Targeted business support program
  6. Enhanced cooperation and integration
  7. Coordinated program of support for skills and training.

NSW Modern Manufacturing Taskforce I Making it in NSW Report (PDF) 8.4 MB

NSW Government Response

The Interim Government Response to the Modern Manufacturing Taskforce Report outlines actions the NSW Government is already taking and has committed to taking in support of this goal and in support of industry themselves. Aligned to the seven key themes from the Taskforce Report, it clearly shows the immediate activities proposed to develop and accelerate modern manufacturing capabilities in the state.

The NSW Government is committed to achieving the vision outlined by the Taskforce.

The primary action we have taken is the appointment of a Modern Manufacturing Commissioner for NSW. The Modern Manufacturing Commissioner is embedded in Investment NSW and empowered to work across governments of all levels, engage with industry and community, and deliver a broad Modern Manufacturing Strategy that will secure the future of this important capability.

The Modern Manufacturing Strategy, due to be developed in 2023, will canvas future initiatives and opportunities beyond those set out in the Response and will outline a roadmap for continuing to support modern manufacturing into the future.

NSW: The Home of Modern Manufacturing I Interim Government Response (PDF) 8 MB