The federal government has awarded a $2 million grant under the Strategic University Reform Fund (SURF) program to La Trobe University for a regional advanced manufacturing hub at Bendigo.
The hub would be developed by Bendigo Manufacturing Group and the City of Greater Bendigo, providing assistance in the digital transformation of the region’s $2.25 billion manufacturing industry.
A statement from La Trobe on Monday indicated the hub would operate as a 12-month trial, and the intention was to “extend its reach and impact across its entire regional campus network – including Shepparton, Mildura and Albury-Wodonga” if successful.
La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said the region was home to a strong manufacturing base. This is estimated to have represented 30 per cent of the region’s economic output in 2018.
“This hub will capitalise on those strengths, connecting local companies with the University’s academic expertise, network of major industry partners, like Cisco and Optus, and world-class research facilities,” said Dewar.
“Regional businesses can also access global supply chains and markets, and product-improving technologies, such as the Internet of Things. This initiative will help them discover multi-disciplinary solutions to the challenges they face.”
The news follows an announcement in July from the Victorian government of $1 million in support for the Central Victorian Advanced Manufacturing alliance initiative — involving Bendigo Manufacturing Group, La Trobe University and the City of Greater Bendigo — also focussed on helping the region’s manufacturers adopt digital technologies.
Picture: Darren Howe/Bendigo Advertiser
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