Govt releases first National Robotics Strategy

artificial intelligence

The Australian Government has launched its inaugural National Robotics Strategy as part of its commitment to its Future Made in Australia project, calling on governments, industry, researchers and the community to adopt responsible artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics use.

The strategy indicates that robotics and AI technologies have the potential to add up to $600 billion per annum to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and increase productivity growth by 150 per cent by 2030.

Announced by the Hon. Ed Husic, Minister for Industry and Science at the Australian Financial Review AI Summit in Sydney, the strategy seeks to leverage the technologies as they are currently being used but an elevated level to “transform advanced manufacturing, support our transition to net zero, combat workforce shortages and create safer and more productive work environments for Australians”.

“Robotics and automation will be important ingredients in helping Australian industry deliver a Future Made in Australia,” Husic said.

“Investing in the skills of our people, along with investing in technology like robotics and automation, will help sharpen our advanced manufacturing edge and grow secure jobs.

“We’ve seen when other countries like Germany and Japan invest in automation, they’re able to keep jobs and industry onshore in a competitive global environment.

“As our mining and ag sectors have shown, we’ve got some of the best robotics know-how in the world, but we’re 32nd for the take-up of industrial robots.

“Our strategy shows how we can develop our competitive strengths using these technologies, leveraging what we already do well.”

While these technologies already have a critical part to play across industries, including harvesting crops, monitoring the environment, assisting in emergency responses, and enhancing manufacturing and improving safety measures in factories, construction sites and mines, the launch of the strategy will develop robotics to further support local communities and encourage productivity.

The National Robotics Strategy Advisory Committee was a core part of the consultation process and strategy development phase, with its members including:

  • 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

The strategy is supported by the Government’s National Reconstruction Fund, Industry Growth Program and Future Made In Australia.