Work has commenced on the Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct (AARP) in Neerabup, Western Australia, which will form one of the biggest test facilities of its kind in the world.
Located around 40km north of Perth, the new 51-hectare automation and robotics testing precinct will be a major hub for testing and research into the latest developments in automation, remote operation and robotic systems.
It will service a broad range of industries including mining and resources, defence, oil and gas, agriculture, space, logistics, construction, advanced manufacturing and the education sector.
WA’s Lands Minister Tony Buti said the creation of this technological hub – which has the potential to expand to 94ha to accommodate future growth – would 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,” Mr Buti added.
“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.”
ICT Minister Don Punch said AARP would 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 and supporting research and development facilities.
He said the facilities would enable companies and researchers the opportunity to accelerate technology and analytics testing and scaling without interrupting on-site production and activities.
“This exciting precinct represents a $20 million investment by the McGowan Government in further enhancing WA’s position as a world leader in the growing fields of robotics and automation, and puts us in the best possible position to meet the opportunities and challenges of the future,” Mr Punch continued.
“Western Australia is a recognised world leader in the field of automation for the mining sector, and this new facility will see this same success mirrored across a range of industries.
“This builds on the $100 million Investment Attraction and New Industries Fund announced in the recent State Budget to support and accelerate a range of emerging industries to diversify our economy and deliver the WA jobs of the future.”
According to the WA Government’s statement, the project is expected to generate at least 70 construction jobs over the next three years, and up to 5000 ongoing jobs in the fields of robotics, automation and remote operations.