The Innovative Manufacturing CRC has signed a framework agreement with the Fraunhofer Society with the aim of increasing the awareness and uptake of Industry 4.0 in Australian manufacturing industry.
The German Fraunhofer Society is one of Europe’s leading organisations for applied research, and the agreement will see the IMCRC established as its preferred partner for Industry 4.0 activities in both Australia and New Zealand.
Future projects governed by the framework might include collaborations, technology transfers, joint research projects and exchanges.
According to IMCRC CEO and Managing Director, David Chuter, the partnership with Fraunhofer is intended to accelerate the awareness and uptake of Industry 4.0 technologies and innovative business models by Australian manufacturers.
“IMCRC is committed to transforming Australia’s manufacturing industry from its reliance on capital and labour-intensive production, to an industry realising new commercial opportunities driven by innovation in all aspects of manufacturing,” says Chuter.
“The agreement with Fraunhofer formalises the work already well underway to drive collaboration between Australia and Germany to promote the uptake of Industry 4.0 and other advanced manufacturing best practices and methodologies, particularly with Australian SME manufacturing companies.”
The IMCRC already has a working relationship with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering, which has been a key advocate and driver of the adoption of Industry 4.0 in Germany. The two organisations are codeveloping a set of specific educational material and workshops that transfer practical expertise to get SMEs on the journey for digital transformation.
According to Innes Willox, CEO of the Australian Industry Group, Chair of the Industry 4.0 taskforce in Australia and Director of IMCRC: “The IMCRC has been working with Fraunhofer since 2015, so we are delighted to establish this formal arrangement to broaden the opportunities for collaboration going forward. This also represents an important initiative within our overall research and innovation strategy for industry 4.0 in our region to catalyse investment in advanced and digital manufacturing.”
Frank Wagner, Head of Strategic R&D Cooperation at Fraunhofer IAO said, “we see significant potential for Australia’s manufacturing sector to increase both its competitiveness and global relevance through uptake of industry 4.0 and advanced and digital manufacturing best practice, and this will continue to strengthen research and innovation links with Germany.”