A national plan for a globally competitive Australian METS sector

(IMARC: MELB) More than 70 initial initiatives have been outlined in horizon one of the 2016 Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) 10 Year Sector Competitiveness Plan - a strategic vision and industry approach to catalyse globally competitive change to improve export growth of Australia's diverse METS sector.

METS Ignited Chair, Elizabeth Lewis-Gray said the Australian Government tasked METS Ignited to work with industry and develop a Sector plan that would identify challenges and opportunities across to increase the competitiveness and accelerate innovation across of Australia's METS sector.

"The METS 10 Year Sector Competitiveness Plan represents a snapshot of innovation and global resources challenges facing industry and suggests how the Australian METS sector needs to positon itself in the future to better compete on a domestic and international scale and increase its footprint," said Ms Lewis-Gray.

"The long-term view of this plan considers where the METS sector needs to be to support industry's needs as an integral part of the mining innovation ecosystem, as well as identify key priority areas to be actioned to achieve industry-wide growth.

"It is important to strengthen collaboration, commercial opportunities and interdependent relationships within the ecosystem for both METS and miners to continue to be successful.

"An Australian METS sector needs to be responsive to disruptive technologies and global challenges and opportunities, and this plan sets out a range of initiatives to strengthen the sector and to help Australian become the global hub for mining innovation.

"The industry-led plan is the culmination of extensive face to face industry engagement with 100 executives and approximately 300 individuals across Australia.

"I commend the mining innovation ecosystem for their valuable contribution and insight that has brought together a solid plan for Australia's METS sector.

"I would also like to acknowledge that the extensive work undertaken by Austmine - one of our partners to develop the plan - which has catalysed the recognition and important of the METS sector as a strategic and valuable industry for Australia," said Ms Lewis-Gray.

The plan was developed through engagement with industry and with strategic input from our partners - Austmine, CSIRO, the federal Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science, and the Queensland Government through the Department of State Development - and our contributors - VCI and the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA).

METS Ignited CEO, Ric Gros said the globally competitive vision for the Australian METS has been captured in the 10 year plan across five broad programs of work to effect the change for the METS sector.

"By working together more effectively and better understanding each other's needs, the mining innovation ecosystem can align their strategies and roadmaps to ensure innovation is customer-driven and efforts are collectively being directed where industry needs it to be," said Mr Gros.

"Focussing on how to accelerate the participation of the Australian METS sector in both domestic and international supply chains by identifying clustering frameworks and infrastructure across the supply chain will result in greater access to markets and opportunities, and is a key area of the plan.

"Likewise, establishing platforms, virtual and physical, where METS and mining companies and researchers can come together to solve problems, develop solutions and implement them as partners, will speed up the innovation cycle and improve commercial outcomes.

"Upskilling within the METS sector to counterbalance their strong technical orientation with the commercial skills is an area of great potential and will also contribute to the value proposition of Australian METS SMEs.

"There is also great opportunity for the Australian METS to develop a stronger sense of identity.The Australian METS sector plays an important role in the maintaining Australia's global leadership in innovative mining technologies and its valueproposition needs to be better understood.

Mr Gros said to catalyse some of this thinking, METS Ignited will initiate and drive a small number of initiatives across these programs of work, but the mining innovation ecosystem will play a big part.

"While METS Ignited has commenced work on some of the initiatives - such as the launch of the METS Living Labs Network - more importantly, we will continue to encourage industry organisations and companies to enhance and strengthen those SCP initiatives identified in the Plan already underway and initiate those initiatives that have yet to be identified but are absent in the ecosystem.

"The Sector Competitiveness Plan is industry's vision for the future. The plan provides a framework for long-term development of the METS sector, over three horizons and METS Ignited looks forward to working with industry to create a stronger future for the Australia's MET sector," said Mr Gros.

Over the next three years METS Ignited will work with the ecosystem to lay the foundations of some of these initiatives in horizon one.