The Queensland government is set to establish an Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Hub open to all of the state’s manufacturers to support jobs and capability growth.
The state will contribute $7.7 million over four years, with the remaining $10 million in funding sourced from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and global design solutions firm Urban Art Projects (UAP).
Minister for manufacturing, Cameron Dick, said the ARM Hub will provide practical production and manufacturing advice in a "real-life" factory environment for manufacturers to learn the latest robotic technologies and techniques for use in their own businesses.
“This is a facility for all of Queensland. All manufacturers across the state will be able to access the ARM Hub, across sectors as diverse as aerospace, biomedical, beef and food processing, defence, mining equipment, technology and services, rail manufacturing, and space," he said.
Dick added that although the ARM Hub will initially be located in Brisbane, the government plans to expand its services across the state.
“Regional manufacturers will have the opportunity to access these services through the Queensland government’s Manufacturing Hubs in Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton and the Defence Hubs in Townsville and Ipswich.”
QUT’s $4 million investment in the hub includes support from the university’s Design Lab, which specialises in high-value product development and the integration of new technologies into manufacturing processes.
“The Hub will allow Queensland industry and research institutions to build the advanced capability that will enable manufacturers to be more competitive, bring manufacturing jobs back to Australia and generate new jobs here,” QUT vice-chancellor Professor Magaret Sheil, said.
UAP co-founder Matthew Tobin, who has overseen the Brisbane-based company’s global expansion, added that small and medium enterprises will also be able to leverage UAP’s 25 years of experience in robotic manufacturing in the art and design spheres.
The company has more than 200 employees, many of whom operate UAP’s machines on behalf of artists or architecture and design firms that don’t have their own capability to do so.