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Australian industries have reached a turning point. With old industries on the way out, the Australian manufacturing sector's biggest challenge is to move from a low-cost mass production model to one that exploits niche markets and adds value to the global supply chain. Research-driven technological advances are an essential part of that process. By building upon the country's natural advantages, such as mineral and energy resources, this kind of progress can foster exciting, sustainable industries. The perfect example is graphene.