WA to build automation and robotics test facility near Perth

Friday, 15 October, 2021

WA to build automation and robotics test facility near Perth

DevelopmentWA has announced that work has now started on the Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct in Neerabup, Western Australia, which is said will form one of the biggest test facilities of its kind in the world. The 51-hectare precinct, around 40 km north of Perth, will be a major hub for testing and research into the latest developments in automation, remote operation and robotic systems.

A broad range of industries including mining and resources, defence, oil and gas, agriculture, space, logistics, construction, advanced manufacturing and the education sector are expected to use AARP.

It will provide suppliers and operators of automation and robotics equipment or systems with access to specialist infrastructure including:

  • Common User Test Beds, with multiple areas and roadways for physical testing;
  • a Common User Facility operation building;
  • supporting research and development facilities.

The WA Government committed $20 million towards the precinct as part of its WA Recovery Plan announced last year with the aim of creating jobs and diversifying the economy. Development of the facility will generate at least 70 construction jobs as the precinct is built over the next three years, and up to 5000 ongoing jobs in the fields of robotics, automation and remote operations.

The facilities will give companies and researchers the opportunity to accelerate technology and analytics testing and scaling without interrupting on-site production and activities.

The site has the potential to expand to 94 ha to accommodate future growth and will not be sub-divided, remaining a long-term Common User Facility asset for Western Australia.

An Industry Advisory Group has also been established, while the AARP will collaborate with university and industry research sectors by offering Doctoral top-up scholarships for projects that support the WA economy and the precinct’s objectives. The precinct will also support the resources industry’s bid to transition to Net Zero Carbon status by providing facilities for the testing of new technologies.

“The start of works on the Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct marks a huge step towards preparing our economy for the future,” said WA Lands Minister, Toni Buti. “The creation of this technological hub will support innovation and underpin a diversified and future-ready economy that delivers secure jobs across a broad range of industries.

“AARP will provide exciting opportunities for a diverse range of WA industries to collaborate, share skills and expertise, and undertake joint ventures. Importantly, the flexible nature of this innovative precinct will ensure Western Australian industries are ready to capitalise on emerging trends across the globe and continue to build our local expertise.”

Image: DevelopmentWA CEO Frank Marra, Minister for Lands Tony Buti and Chironix Founding CEO Daniel Milford at the launch of the AARP.

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