Manufacturing and farming sectors need to assess their business models and build more resilience into the sectors if they want to survive.
Speaking at the Tractor and Machinery Association annual conference, Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre director Michael Grogan said the manufacturing sector faced similar problems to the farming and agricultural sector, specifically around attracting and retaining young workers and being seen by the next generation as an exciting modern industry.
"There is a perception that the manufacturing industry is dead and gone, that we don't make anything, but manufacturing still employs 1.27 million people," he said.
"There is still $9 billion in exports on a monthly basis and manufacturing still represents as the number one in terms of innovation, defined by the number of patents."
Mr Grogan said both industries needed to build resilience into their business models so they could cope with events such as recession, global financial crisis, trade wars and environmental catastrophes.
"The guaranteed thing is we are going to have another one, the question is how resilient and prepared your business is," he said.
"There are things that can be built into any business to make it more resilient."
Mr Grogan said actions businesses could take included managing currency, diversifying their customer base, having flexible production, filling a market niche or participating in research and development.
"Improve value, we don't compete on costs, it is a race to the bottom in Australia," he said.
"There are three basic things to consider when we look at a resilient business, that is superiority, diversity and flexibility."