The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Hub: an industry-led approach to innovation and research collaboration

Melissa Rodgers
QUT

Cori Stewart
QUT

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Abstract
The proposed Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Hub (ARM Hub) initiative in Queensland, Australia, represents an innovative industry-led approach to industry-research collaboration, with a vision for Queensland being recognised as an international leader in advanced robotics and design-led manufacturing.
The manufacturing industry is Queensland’s fifth largest industry, contributing $19.7 billion gross value add to the economy and employing 168,000 people. Manufacturing is vital to the prosperity of other major industries, including construction, mining and agriculture. The rapid digital transformation of manufacturing puts our industry at serious risk of becoming obsolete unless bold action is taken to accelerate technology uptake in our SMEs, so they can compete in niche, high value global markets.
The challenge addressed by the ARM Hub is servicing this need in an industry that is over 95% SME sized companies, where the majority of these companies (over 90%) are small companies. The ARM Hub will bring SMEs and larger companies together in an industry-based working manufacturing environment. The ARM Hub brings together private industry, national and international researchers, and Government to accelerate the adoption of advanced manufacturing.
The ARM Hub will be an independent not-for-profit company, based in a working manufacturing environment, which functions as a business development and service delivery intermediary between industry and research institutions. The company will officially launch August 2019, and over the next five years aims to:
• Provide leadership in advanced robotics and design-led manufacturing, to accelerate SME Industry 4.0 adoption
• Drive R&D for advanced manufacturing to increase the scale and capability of manufacturers
• Engage with other sectors to share knowledge and collaboratively expand Queensland’s global market access
• Drive business-to-business advanced manufacturing, growing the economy and creating new high-value jobs
The ARM Hub is also an opportunity for manufacturing industries globally to collaborate with Australia’s industry and research capabilities.