Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: With the government making major investments in helping companies adopt advanced manufacturing innovations, Wisconsin companies with expertise in automation and robotics, sensors and data analytics, and artificial intelligence can find opportunities.
Australia is seeking to develop and utilize Industry 4.0 technologies to tackle some of the country’s most challenging issues., such as climate change, energy transition, scarcity of water, declining population and cybersecurity. Industry 4.0 focuses on using transformative technologies to connect the physical and digital worlds, for example:
- Advanced automation and robotics
- Machine-to-machine and human-to-machine communication
- Artificial intelligence
- Sensor technology and data analytics
To prioritize this massive task, the Australian federal government has highlighted six industry growth areas for Industry 4.0: manufacturing, cybersecurity, food and agribusiness, medical technologies and pharmaceuticals, mining, and oil and gas. To support businesses through this transition, test labs have been created in partnership with seven universities. Each lab has its own focus (e.g., Swinbourne University will focus on composite product automation).
In addition, Australia is also utilizing funding initiatives such as:
- Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) - $1 billion USD to co-fund large manufacturing projects in priority sectors, with current opportunities in sensors and data analytics, advanced materials and additive manufacturing
- The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Fund - $37 million USD toward individual businesses’ transition to advanced manufacturing
- The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) - $21 million funding for 40 different projects
The Australian private and public sectors understand that for rapid implementation of these initiatives, they must look at least in part to solutions developed overseas. Wisconsin exporters strong in advanced manufacturing should:
- Review the major initiatives and individual funding projects to locate specific areas of opportunity
- Explore opportunities to collaborate on R&D initiatives with Australian universities and research institutions such as AMGC
- Consider engaging with the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council (AAMC), a private sector initiative that aims to showcase leading Australian technologies and attract international companies to Australia
- Participate in key industry events, such as Industry 4.0: Advanced Manufacturing Forum and Australian Manufacturing Week, which will include “UNLIMIT3D,” a two-day conference on additive manufacturing and 3D printing