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The Optimism Cafe: Michael Sharpe on Innovation

"For me, optimism is not only seeing the glass half full, it’s taking action to keep filling that glass."

April 2020 The Optimism Cafe was The Centre for Optimism's effort to recreate the cafe conversations we missed in states of emergency and lockdowns. This one is Michael Sharpe on Optimism and Innovation in conversation with Lynn Wood, Victor Perton, Robert Masters, Maddie Cunningham and several other leaders.


Who is Michael Sharpe?

"For me, optimism is not only seeing the glass half full, it’s taking action to keep filling that glass."

"As the National Director for Industry at the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, I get to walk the factory floors and talk with industry leaders all across Australia. The manufacturing sector is number one for the development of intellectual property, with more patents than any other sector. The leading companies are diversified and exporting globally. We also have traditional engineering firms looking to new opportunities in the defence sector. Right now we have the largest defence budget in Australia's history, over $200 billion dollars with a focus on growing local industry supply chains.

"Just this month, Prime Minister Morrison opened the new Australian Space Agency Headquarters and we are connecting manufacturing companies with the space industry opportunities. For example, Sydney-based Nicholas Hacko Watches makes high value, high-quality watches. The company has precision engineering equipment and a highly-skilled workforce to make fine and complex parts for timepieces. There is great potential for diversification into the space industry with the manufacturing of complex parts for things such as cube satellites and more. "

The fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, is changing manufacturing forever. This transformation which includes such things as robotics, automation and smart sensors, also includes new ways of sales and marketing with technologies like online sales with Instagram and Facebook. It no longer matters that Australia is geographically removed from most of the world..."

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