Meanwhile, RMIT postgraduate students will have opportunities to travel to Germany for research at Fraunhofer IWS.
“Germany is at the core of global i4.0 innovation, but Australia is developing rapidly through a range of national programs and global partnerships such as this one,” said Subic.
“This partnership will serve as a conduit between Australia and Germany to tap into that rich vein, which will support Australia’s manufacturing transformation at a critical time, while also training the next generation of local additive manufacturing experts.”
The announcement follows a recent MoU with Siemens and Festo designed to drive workforce transformation for i4.0 in the Australasian region, including the establishment of an Industrial Digital Innovation Hub at RMIT.
Setting the course for Australia’s manufacturing future
Director of RMIT’s Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (AMP) and Centre for Additive Manufacturing, Distinguished Professor Milan Brandt, said after years of decline across much of Australia’s manufacturing sector, there were now clear opportunities for Australia to carve out a new niche.
“We cannot compete with labour costs on low value, high volume manufacturing, but Industry 4.0 presents us with a real opportunity in high value-add technology, such as rapid repairs of metal parts in mining, defence, transport and renewables, so that’s where we need to head,” Brandt said.
“Our future will be in collaborating nationally and globally, codesigning and co-creating advanced manufacturing solutions, and being agile in providing those solutions as they’re needed by industry.”
Brandt said 3D printing technology was perfectly suited for tailored, agile responses to industry needs, as highlighted through recent work by AMP staff in printing face shields for frontline healthcare workers.