The national Industry 4.0 Testlabs network will involve six Australian universities, with the national network led by Swinburne University’s deputy vice-chancellor of research and development, professor Aleksandar Subic, under the auspice of the Australian Industry (Ai) Group Industry 4.0 Forum.
Swinburne has been chosen to participate in the pilot program with University of Queensland, University of Technology Sydney, University of South Australia, University of Western Australia and University of Tasmania.
“Swinburne has placed Industry 4.0 at the heart of our Research and Innovation Strategy. We recently launched the Victorian SME Industry 4.0 Hub for manufacturing businesses, the Siemens MindSphere Demonstration and Application Centre for Australia and the DXC Digital Transformation Centre at Swinburne,” said professor Subic.
“These strategic initiatives place us at the forefront of Industry 4.0 and bring our extensive expertise in industry engagement, research translation, digitalisation and technology innovation to this pilot program.
“This national network of Industry 4.0 Testlabs will facilitate collaboration across multiple sites including sharing of experiences and use cases among partner universities. We are all committed to creating a unique engagement model through this program by providing industries and businesses the support they need in order to benefit from the opportunities that the fourth industrial revolution is providing.”
The fourth industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, is rapidly transforming how businesses operate and involves technologies such as advanced automation and robotics, machine-to-machine communication and sensor technology.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the Liberal-National Government’s pilot program would provide small to medium-sized businesses with free and open access to testlab facilities and focus on improving their skills in Industry 4.0 technologies.
“The Industry 4.0 Testlabs for Australia program prepares businesses to transition to the smart factories of the future,” Andrews said.
“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 universities have been selected to take advantage of their existing partnerships with industry.
The testlabs will 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.”