CSIRO Chief Scientist Professor Bronwyn Fox has been appointed to chair a new National Robotics Strategy Advisory Committee to guide Australia’s strategy for emerging automation technologies.
Industry and Science Ed Husic announced the new role of Prof. Fox, along with the rest of the committee, including VC Main Sequence’s Mike Zimmerman, ahead of today’s first meeting.
Husic said the commission will develop a strategy to ensure Australia takes advantage of the opportunities of robotics and automation, from advanced manufacturing to agriculture.
“We’ve brought together some of the country’s leading robotics and technology thinkers and practitioners to guide the way we develop and use robotics,” he said.
“Australia has many of the most important elements that can help develop national robotics capabilities: our people, research and production skills. And while we are known to be strong in field robotics, we can do better, in a broader range of activities.
“We also want to make sure that we develop our robot power in addition to our human skills and provide safe, well-paid jobs.”
The minister said robotics companies are worth an estimated $18 billion in annual revenue to the local economy by 2021, a 50% increase from three years earlier.
“Australian-made and serviced robotics and automation systems have the potential to boost local manufacturing, open up export opportunities and create safer and more productive work environments,” said Husic.
“The $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund… will allocate up to $1 billion to improve Australia’s critical technological capability, in areas such as quantum; robotics; and artificial intelligence.”
Members of the National Robotics Strategy Advisory Committee are:
- Associate Professor Catherine Ball, Australian National University
- Mr Andrew Dettmer, National President of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union
- Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte, NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer
- Professor Bronwyn Fox (Chairman), Chief Scientist, CSIRO
- Dr. Sue Keay, Founder and Chairman, 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