A Shorten Labor Government would invest $10 million to further expand the capability of the Facility for Intelligent Fabrication (FIF) and $1 million to establish a 3D BioPrinting Facility at the University of Wollongong (UOW).

The Facility for Intelligent Fabrication (FIF) is a collaboration between UOW, TAFE NSW and Weld Australia which launched in March 2018. The FIF is a unique facility designed to assist businesses to identify and implement welding and automation-related technology which is backed up by technical, education, training and certification support. It helps companies position themselves to enter the supply chain on larger fabrication projects and builds the skills for long term capabilities.

The three core partners are providing substantial support to the facility through their existing research laboratory, training workshops and centres. This $10 million in additional funding will provide resources for:

  • $6 million for additional industrial robot cells, a rapid metal fabrication cell, flexible robotic machining cell and leading edge welding equipment at UOW’s existing automation and specialist welding facility which will assist industry and defence adopt technology.
  • $2 million for desktop training robots and virtual welding simulators in workshops at TAFE Illawarra for apprentice and trainee education.
  • $2 million for augmented reality welding simulators at the national Weld Australia training centres to help upskill welders in industry and in support of Defence’s future acquisition and sustainment program.

The Federal Government-funded Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), based at UOW’s Innovation Campus (iC), translates materials science knowledge into practical, game-changing devices that will have a significant impact in the areas of diagnostics, energy, health and soft robotics.

The $1 million funding commitment will enable the ACES to establish the 3D BioPrinting Facility, a purpose-built commercialisation development facility, to house activities in printer manufacturing, biomaterials and bio-inks as well as material-cellular combinations. The facility will be located in Montague Street, Fairy Meadow, which is in close proximity to UOW’s iC. The facility will comprise four interlinked but physically discrete areas for:

  • Printer Manufacture.
  • Biomaterials and Bionics.
  • Biomaterials and Cells.

The facility will also comprise a workshop, office and meeting room space.

Bill Shorten and Labor will deliver a fair go for all Australians, after six years of Liberal cuts and chaos, our united Labor team is ready.