Program to prepare businesses for Fourth Industrial Revolution

Friday, 18 January, 2019

Program to prepare businesses for Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Australian Government has announced a pilot program designed to prepare businesses for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), with the help of six selected Australian universities.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the Industry 4.0 Testlabs for Australia program will provide small to medium-sized businesses with free and open access to testlab facilities and focus on improving their skills in 4IR/Industry 4.0 technologies. Such technologies are rapidly transforming how businesses operate and include advanced automation and robotics, machine-to-machine communication and sensor technology.

“The Industry 4.0 Testlabs for Australia program prepares businesses to transition to the smart factories of the future,” Andrews said.

The University of Tasmania, the University of Queensland, the University of Technology Sydney, the University of South Australia, the University of Western Australia and Swinburne University of Technology have all been chosen to participate in the program. According to Andrews, “Each testlab will receive a grant of up to $1 million and that funding will be matched by the participating universities, leveraging total investment of around $12 million.”

In addition to their world-class research strengths, the six universities have been selected to take advantage of their existing partnerships with industry. The testlabs will thus provide spaces for researchers and industry to work together in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, developing the skills needed to take full advantage of opportunities presented by Industry 4.0.

“Evaluation of the pilot program will provide valuable insights into the success and uptake of new Industry 4.0 technologies,” Andrews said.

“After the program is completed, consideration will be given to implementing a broader initiative.”

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