Both parties fall short on R&D in 2019 election

If you were thinking of casting your vote in the 2019 federal election on the basis of the innovation policies of the major parties you now have a choice between proven failure and halfhearted and misguided action. As I have argued, the Coalition’s research and innovation policies have been missing in action, with our national…

Clean Energy Council acts on Queensland solar rules

The Clean Energy Council has convened an emergency meeting today (Friday) to discuss new Queensland state government rules covering the installation of solar PV systems. The rules, which require licensed electricians to perform mechanical work such as lifting, mounting and fixing unplugged solar panels, threaten jobs on solar farms and in commercial PV installations according…

Companies urged to do more to help create a digital workforce

Australia’s National Centre for Vocational Educational Research (NCVER) has urged employers to do more to prepare for a digital future of work. In a report, Skilling the Australian workforce for the digital economy, NCVER found preparedness for a digital future was highly varied between workplaces. NCVER managing director, Simon Walker said: “This new report focuses…

Innovative underground electric vehicle heads for tests

An innovative underground electric vehicle that began with a $500,000 R&D grant is headed for testing in Australian mines. Prototypes of the Bortana EV, a battery powered vehicle fitted into a rugged utility vehicle by e-mobility group 3ME Technology, will be delivered to mines across the country this year. The Mets Ignited industry growth centre…

Brickworks enters robotic joint venture

Bulding products group Brickworks (ASX: BKW) and robotics developer FBR (ASX: FBR) have inaugurated their joint venture ‘wall as a service’ manufacturing business, Fastbrick Australia. Fastbrick will charge customers by the square metre of wall built, and exclusively utilise FBR’s Hadrian X bricklaying robot and Brickworks masonry blocks in its Australian operations. Fastbrick is a…