A pledge by Labor leader Anthony Albanese and Industry spokesman Ed Husic committing $10 million to bolster advanced manufacturing through expansion of Flinders University’s Factory of the Future has been welcomed as a game-changer for job creation in SA’s southern suburbs and the State.
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Impact) Professor John Spoehr says the funding would support the establishment of the Factory of the Future and establishment of a Manufacturing Growth Accelerator program that will engage with over 200 small and medium sized companies.
‘This is an important moment for the future of manufacturing in South Australia; a turning point in the rebirth of the critically important manufacturing sector in our state,’ Professor Spoehr says.
‘An investment of this scale would help fuel some 800 secure jobs. Located at the former Tonsley Mitsubishi assembly plant, the Factory of the Future facility is set to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of automotive manufacturing, positioning South Australia as a leader in industrial transformation.’
Professor Spoehr says the Factory of the Future, established in partnership with BAE Systems Maritime Australia and a network of innovative companies committed to growing advanced manufacturing, will enable South Australia’s manufacturers to more effectively participate in major projects including the Hunter Class Frigate program.
‘The Factory of the Future will help to realise the ambition of accelerating the growth of advanced manufacturing output, jobs, and exports in South Australia. It will work with SMEs to maximise their prospects of successful participation in key local supply chains, better positioning them to secure local contracts and pursue lucrative export opportunities, through linkages with key industrial partners,’ he says.
‘The Factory of the Future facility is pivotal to South Australia’s fortunes as a smart state, and it’s pleasing to see the value of Line Zero being recognised federally,’ Professor Spoehr says.
Led by Flinders University’s Australian Industrial Transformation Institute, the factory gives companies access to key digital, robotic and other technologies to help drive innovation in advanced manufacturing.
Mr Husic says the Factory of the Future, already backed by a $4 million commitment by the SA Labor government this year, will focus on supporting skills development and supporting firms ‘to gain a foothold in key supply chains, particularly in defence, food and beverage, medical devices and assistive technologies.
‘Skilling up workers, bringing new technologies and practices into firms that are eager to grow on and take on overseas rivals,’ Mr Husic says. ‘This is the stuff that is important for our future industrial strength,’ he says, adding the facility will provide education and training opportunities for hundreds of students over coming five years.
Ms Miller-Frost says: ‘This investment is part of our plan to ensure our kids have well-paid, secure local jobs, and the skills and education they need.’
About the Factory of the Future: positioning SA at the forefront of the Industry 4.0 revolution, the Factory of the Future provides small and medium enterprises unparalleled access to expertise and facilities to support their R&D – including an industrial scale ‘test bed’ where technology can be put through its paces in a ‘like real world’ setting. Expansion of the physical infrastructure and support for the Manufacturing Growth Accelerator Program would enable companies to test their products and systems for potential application in a range of key growth sectors.