Siemens has pledged a multi-million dollar software in-kind grant if Germany is selected to build Australia’s next fleet of submarines.

Visiting global President and CEO of Siemens PLM Software, Chuck Grindstaff, says the grant could establish a digital shipyard in Adelaide.

This would help transform the state into a hub for high-tech manufacturing and re-skill Australia's next generation of workers.

"It's no longer about who has the strongest back, but who best uses their brain and receives the best training in areas like mechanics, mechatronics, computers, software, design and engineering," Mr Grindstaff said at an industry event in Adelaide.

German group ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems is bidding against groups from France and Japan to produce Australia's next fleet of submarines.

It has proposed building an 89m submarine known as the Type 216, which has a range of 10,400 nautical miles and is designed to carry 18 torpedoes or anti-ship missiles.

Mr Grindstaff said Australia is faced with a unique opportunity through its defence investments to help local industry rapidly transform and prepare to participate in advanced manufacturing and Industry 4.0.

“Should Germany be selected to build Australia’s next fleet of submarines, I could see a multi-million dollar in-kind Siemens PLM software grant to help re-tool Australia’s next generation of workers,” said Mr Grindstaff.

In Virginia in the US, where shipbuilding is core to the state's economy, Siemens provided $1billion of in-kind software to equip students with the Digital Enterprise Software Suite that will help them build the world's most complex ships for the US Navy.

“A combination of Germany’s Industrie 4.0 vision, the access to advanced manufacturing technologies already in application in the US Navy and Australia’s Innovation Agenda will help retool Adelaide and Australia for the digital age of manufacturing,” said Grindstaff.  “Put simply, I could see a rebirth of shipbuilding in Australia with flow on effects to all industry and the potential to seed Australia's manufacturing Renaissance - similar to what we're seeing in Virginia.” 

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