The federal government has released a discussion paper ahead of development of a National Robotics Strategy, seeking to identify the challenges and opportunities when it comes to robotics and automation adoption by industry.
Industry minister Ed Husic said the paper would “guide a conversation on growing the production and responsible use of robotics” within Australia.
“Australia has all the ingredients to grow our robotics industry – world-class research institutions, a highly skilled workforce and favourable business conditions,” Husic said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Automation technologies, including robotics, provide an opportunity to add between $170 billion to $600 billion per year to Australia’s GDP by 2030.”
The development of a robotics strategy was first mentioned by Husic to The Australian Financial Review in August last year, in which he described Australia as without a game plan and “really under done”.
Appointment of a National Robotics Strategy Advisory Committee was announced in December. It is chaired by CSIRO Chief Scientist, Professor Bronwyn Fox, and members include NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte, Robotics Australia Group chair and founder Dr Sue Keay, and Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union National President Andrew Dettmer.
Robotics companies were estimated to be worth $18 billion in annual revenues in Australia in 2021, up from $12 billion in 2018.
Husic has acknowledged national strengths in domains such as field robotics, but added “we can do better, across a wider range of activities.”
Australia’s use of industrial robotics is well behind manufacturing powerhouses such as China, Japan, the United States and South Korea, and placed 35th globally for robotic density within workplaces in 2019.
“Responses to the discussion paper will help to identify priority areas for the future of Australian robotics and automation technologies, including existing strengths and gaps to be addressed,” said Husic.
“Importantly, if we want to grow advanced manufacturing in Australia, we will need to explore ways to boost our robotics and automation capabilities.”
Picture: credit Rios Intelligent Machines