AI Adopt Centres to provide free AI training for small businesses

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Australian small to medium-sized businesses will now have access to expert advice on safely adopting artificial intelligence (AI) into their operations.

Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic announced today the establishment of four AI Adopt Centres under the $17 million AI Adopt Program, designed to act as a front door connecting businesses with AI expertise.

The four AI Adopt Centres will be operated by:

  • Boab AI Adopt Centre: A consortium of industry and university partners delivering courses and one-on-one mentoring in AI, focusing on medical science, agriculture, and renewables and low emissions tech.
  • Digital Transformation Australia: Leveraging the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Hub to provide manufacturing SMEs with a tangible pathway to understanding how AI can help their individual businesses.
  • elevenM: Guiding SMEs through the design and implementation of AI solutions with a focus on workflow and governance solutions.
  • Redgrid Internet of Energy Enterprises: Focusing on regional SMEs, particularly in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and renewable technologies.

These four organisations were chosen through a competitive grant process, each targeting businesses in key priority areas of the National Reconstruction Fund.

The centres will aim to demonstrate how AI can modernize businesses and boost productivity, providing clear guidance on adopting AI safely and efficiently.

They will also offer free specialist training to help businesses and staff develop specific skills to effectively manage AI.

“Mobilising industry for a Future Made in Australia will be a whole lot easier if we can get businesses of all shapes and sizes using AI properly,” said Minister Husic.

He continued, “These AI Adopt Centres will be a helpful partner for small businesses to drive productivity and will work with them to develop new products, safely and responsibly.”

The AI Adopt Centres will complement the National Artificial Intelligence Centre and participate in the Responsible AI Network.

The AI Adopt Program builds on the work the Australian Government is already undertaking to ensure the safe and responsible use of AI across the Australian economy.

“As the pandemic experience showed, technology can help SMEs to not only keep operating in tough conditions but find ways to do things in the long term smarter and more efficiently. That’s what I want these AI Adopt Centres to do,” Minister Husic added.

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