December 18, 2015 at 2:17 pm #1358
EIDA SWOT Analysis of the Adelaide Electronics Industry – 2015
Note: Highest scores refer to statements which achieved an aggregate >70% at the ‘Moderate’ level and higher
* Electronics is a core industry in the State’s transition to our ‘knowledge-age’ future
* The industry has mostly SMEs with diverse capabilities and agile response
* It is a high ‘value-adding’ with high IP content and low environmental impact
* Adelaide’s electronics industry the industry is long-established, successful and stable
* High technology design and low volume production combine to provide industry sustainability
* It is a major South Australian ‘advanced manufacturing industry’
Summary of the comments by respondents: The industry is world class with good, innovative, intellectual property-based products with fast delivery and prototyping capability and strength in diversity. Comments also on a future proof industry with low volume production and many electronics SMEs owned by their managers. Good inter-firm communications and relationships with academia. A strategically focused industry.
EIDA comment on strengths: The responses showed a positive feeling for the future of the industry and illustrated a good knowledge of the industry’s characteristics and structure.
* Understanding of the Adelaide electronics industry by our community is limited
* Government understanding of the Adelaide electronics industry is limited
Summary of comments by respondents: Limited scale of the industry with mostly SME’s and few supporting industries. A shortage of trained staff as businesses not contributing to the industry future. They must deliver value to the overall economy. Poor public awareness and lack of support from government. Poor communication within the industry and lack of belief in itself and lack of R&D supporting local businesses.
EIDA comment on weaknesses: This section generated a lot of comments a number of which were critical of the industry itself and implied that it was not doing enough to overcome perceived weaknesses. The best scores identify major weaknesses due to the lack of awareness and understanding of the industry by both community and Government. These reflect on the recruitment of students into relevant study areas with consequent reductions in course funding.
* Greater collaboration of Adelaide electronics industry with government
* Greater collaboration between Adelaide electronics firms
* Greater collaboration of our electronics industry with universities and research institutions
* Attraction of wanted, complementary firms &/or capabilities to Adelaide
* Support for local defence, off-grid storage and electric vehicle development
* Availability of start-up funding and incubator support for Adelaide electronics start-ups
Summary of comments by respondents: Opportunities for more investment. Unlimited opportunities through collaboration. Improve ‘R&D to development and commercialisation’ and incubators to assist electronics start-ups. Engagement with universities at faculty level and at student level. Industry to provide student work during the education process. More collaboration with universities and concentration on renewable energy / energy saving / efficiency solutions and technologies that reduces the use of water, energy.
EIDA comment on opportunities: Many comments referred to the need for more collaboration across all possible partner sectors as well as setting up facilitation of start-ups through incubators.
* Closure or reduction of surface ship and submarine building in Adelaide
* Closure or reduction in government funded DSTO/CSIRO/research Institutions
* A high value Australian dollar would reduce export markets
* Foreign copying of our intellectual property
* Future shortage of skilled and experienced practitioners
Summary of comments by respondents: The electronics industry has a low profile. Industry needs to be known not hidden, Lack of integration of policy from all fields; school education to develop interest and careers in technologies. Lack of solidarity within the industry and lack of ability to communicate our message within the industry and to the wider community.
EIDA comment on weaknesses: A lack of structure in the integration of study through to relevant employment is seen as a disadvantage implying that some form of longterm workforce planning would benefit the industry. (Keeping in mind that the lead time from leaving school to becoming productive in the workforce can range from 3-4 years (paraprofessional) to 6-7 years (post-graduate) This would need to be alongside strategic industry development.
EIDA CONCLUSION: The survey indicates a positive understanding of the electronics industry which could be enhanced by greater collaboration within the industry and with its partners as well as a significant push in raising government and community recognition of the industry’s value to the State’s future as a knowledge-based centre for Australia. Development of an Adelaide electronics industry Strategic Plan is a priority!
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