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Bronwyn Fox to head national robotics advisory body

Manufacturing News

Chief Scientist of CSIRO Professor Bronwyn Fox (pictured) will head a new National Robotics Strategy Advisory Committee to help guide Australia’s strategy for emerging automation technologies.

The committee, which meets for the first time today, will work to develop a National Robotics Strategy that ensures Australia harnesses the opportunities from robotics and automation, from advanced manufacturing to agriculture.

Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic said he had brought together some of the nation’s leading robotics and technology thinkers and practitioners to guide the way we develop and use robotics.

Husic said: “Australia has a lot of the key elements that can help in the development of national robotics capabilities: our people, research and manufacturing skills.

“And while we’re recognised as possessing strength in field robotics, we can do better, across a wider range of activities.

“We also want to ensure that we develop our robotic strength alongside human skills, delivering secure well-paid jobs.”

National Robotics Strategy Advisory Committee members are:

  • Associate Professor Catherine Ball, Australian National University
  • Mr Andrew Dettmer, National President, Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union
  • Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte, NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer
  • Professor Bronwyn Fox (Chair), Chief Scientist, CSIRO
  • Dr Sue Keay, Founder and Chair, Robotics Australia Group
  • Professor Simon Lucey, Director, Australian Institute of Machine Learning
  • Associate Professor Julia Powles, Director, UWA Minderoo Tech & Policy Lab

    Mr Mike Zimmerman, Partner, Main Sequence Ventures

Husic said robotics companies were estimated to be worth $18 billion in annual revenue to the Australian economy in 2021, up from $12 billion in 2018.

“Australian made and maintained robotics and automation systems have the potential to boost local manufacturing, open up export opportunities and create safer and more productive work environments.

“Boosting Australia’s industrial capabilities is one of the Albanese Government’s priorities, supported by the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund.

“The NRF will allocate up to $1 billion to improve Australia’s critical technology capability, in areas such as quantum; robotics; and artificial intelligence.”

Picture: Professor Bronwyn Fox

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