Speaking at the launch of CEDA's report Advanced Manufacturing: Beyond the production line, Mr Connolly said Australia currently lacks skilled experts in engineering and data analysis to compete globally in manufacturing.
"Our experience in Australia is that we see a general knowledge gap in engineering already," he said.
"Another skill needed by our future manufacturing workers is how to work with big data and use it to enhance productivity.
Mr Connolly also said polices are needed to incentivise Australian companies to make technology investments.
"I'm not a big believer in handouts but I do believe there is a role in policy, including tax policy, to encourage technology investment which is critical to the future success of any industrial or manufacturing business," he said.
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