Cutting-edge technology and research will be the focus of a new industry hub launched in Nowra.
The Nowra Agri-business Innovation Hub launched at the University of Wollongong's Shoalhaven campus will connect the regional agri-business sector with the latest technologies and research, providing great benefit for businesses, farmers and researchers.
The Morrison Government has provided $2 million to establish the hub which was officially launched by Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings, UOW Director of the Facility for Intelligent Fabrication Dr Paul Di Pietro and Shoalhaven Assistant Deputy Mayor Councillor Patricia White.
Senator Fierravanti-Wells said the hub launch would kick-start a new chapter of innovation and growth in the region.
"The hub will ensure that local students, businesses and entrepreneurs can access the expertise, equipment and innovation that will help them succeed," Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.
"The Shoalhaven region has a strong history in agribusiness, manufacturing and defence industries, as well as a skilled labour force.
"The research conducted in the university's facilities will provide the advice and technical assistance for those businesses to explore new technologies and drive growth."
Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the Morrison Government was committed to enhancing collaboration between universities, industry, businesses, government and the wider community.
"The research done by our universities can lead to the development of new products and innovations that drive job growth, business opportunities and productivity gains," Mr Tehan said.
"As part of our Job-ready Graduates reforms we are providing $900 million to establish the National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund to fund partnerships between universities and industry."
Professor Wellings said the hub will provide the community with access to tools and support to create a thriving economic future.
"The university has always served its communities and this was recently demonstrated in the assistance we provided to students and businesses across the South Coast and Southern Highlands throughout Australia's bushfire crisis and the pandemic," he said.
"We are determined to continue to value-add to our communities economically, environmentally, socially and culturally by investing in research and innovation.
"So, it is fitting to be partnering with the Australian Government to officially open this Industry 4.0 Hub at a time when Australia's economic recovery is based on our success at growing new businesses, creating jobs, and supporting existing businesses."
The hub is expected to provide further details on research engagement and translation in the first half of 2021.