South Australia has been given a technology kickstart with funding announced for high-tech manufacturing, games development and coding programs.
High-tech manufacturing jobs in South Australia will have a new home, following the opening of a the Tonsley Manufacturing Innovation Hub at Flinders University on Friday.
“We need to ensure our advanced manufacturing workforce and companies have the ability to compete globally in niche markets based on value and service,” said Manufacturing and Innovation Minister, Kyam Maher.
“Industry 4.0 is the next technological wave that will create opportunities for South Australia’s advanced manufacturers to diversify into growth sectors such as defence, food and health.”
The innovation precinct is the first of its kind in Australia and is home to some of the latest manufacturing training equipment, including a Bionic Handling Assistant, alongside other Industry 4.0 technologies.
The precinct, which was formerly the site of Mitsubishi’s Australian factory, will aim to support businesses, researchers and students.
Vice-Chancellor at Flinders University, Professor Colin Stirling said digital technologies will help create a new generation of highly skilled jobs.
“The Tonsley Manufacturing Innovation Hub will accelerate this process, helping ensure that South Australia remains at the centre of high-technology manufacturing in the nation,” he said.
Alongside high-tech manufacturing, the government has pledged its support to the games development industry ahead of the upcoming state election next month.
On the same day he unveiled the Tonsley Manufacturing Innovation Hub, Kyam Maher also announced the government was pledging $2 million in support to the South Australian game development sector.
The new strategy will provide a three-tiered grant program, with grants of up to $50,000 available for production, marketing and skill development.
There was also $450,000 put toward Game Plus, a game development co-working space on Pirie Street.
“South Australia has a vibrant game development scene and this new strategy will support our small games enterprises to test their ideas in Adelaide, tap into new markets and remain globally competitive in this multi-billion-dollar industry,” said Maher.
Alongside support for gaming and high-end manufacturing, Jay Weatherill’s government has also announced plans to improve STEM education in primary schools, with coding to be taught in all public primary schools.
Weatherill announced that a re-elected Labor government would invest $6.7 million into the coding and entrepreneurship program over the next four years.
With industries such as cyber security now rapidly growing, Weatherill explained that this program will help to shape the future workforce.
“With thousands of jobs in cyber security and artificial intelligence in the pipeline, we need the next generation to be ready for jobs of the future,” he said.
“Learning coding empowers students to be able to understand the technology shaping our world.”