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ECU backs advanced manufacturing hub proposal

ECU backs advanced manufacturing hub proposal

The groundswell of support for an advanced manufacturing and technology hub in Greater Bunbury has continued to build, with industry backing a feasibility study into the viability of establishing the proposed facility.

Edith Cowan University’s South West campus has been unveiled as a sponsor of the State Government project, putting $10,000 towards the South West Development Commission-coordinated study.

The contribution from the university is on top of the $485,000 allocated by the State Government towards exploring the potential of a hub.

It is expected an advanced manufacturing and technology hub would boost local capability and capacity by providing local access to world-class infrastructure, technology, education and research.

This will provide locally-based business and companies with an edge when competing for work internationally, with an emphasis on leveraging the South West’s comparative and competitive advantages in global supply chains.

The study will look into the commercial benefits, highlighting the economic prospects and regional development outcomes the hub would bring to the South West. It will also identify the potential anchor tenants and investigate the industrial sectors where there is greatest potential value-add for the South West economy.

SWDC chief executive officer Mellisa Teede said it was important to map out skills and workforce development as part of planning for an advanced manufacturing and technology hub.

“We’re building strong partnerships with industry as we work to grow the advanced manufacturing sector in the region and set it up for a prosperous future. We welcome on board Edith Cowan University and look forward to introducing more of our industry sponsors in the near future,” Ms Teede said.

“We want to lay the groundwork to develop our workforce and equipping industry with the skills for the future. Having partnerships with local education and training organisations will help to develop the pool of local talent for this industry sector in the years ahead.”

Edith Cowan University South West Campus Dean Lyn Farrell said the university was an important player in the advanced manufacturing space, in both research and teaching.

“We are very focused on making sure Western Australia is not getting left behind in respect to developments in advanced manufacturing technology,” Ms Farrell said.

“It’s an important area already for us and it’s going to be great to be able to be involved in this initiative.

“In respect to the technology, our role is to ensure that we are educating people with the skills and knowledge that they need to work in these industries now and into the future.”