August 22, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

In a major boost for Australia’s knowledge credentials, the Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct (AARP) is taking shape 40km outside Perth.

With the Western Australian state government investing $20 million into the precinct, CORE Innovation Hub has just been selected to attract, secure and retain residents and stakeholders of the new research, development and testing hub at Neerabup, announced in October 2021.

CORE specialises in nurturing innovation in the resources sector and already has two hubs in Western Australia, in Perth and the Pilbara, the latter of which is opening next month. The business also has a presence in innovation district Lot Fourteen in central Adelaide.

CORE is tasked with leading industry-driven collaboration between all aspects of the innovation ecosystem for the precinct, including between innovators, their customers and educational institutions. CORE will also curate and showcase projects from the site and deliver industry events.

The initial 51ha site, will have one of the world’s largest testing facilities for automation, remote operations and robotics. The precinct may scale as large as 94ha over the next three decades and will include Common User test beds, laboratories and design co-labs. A Common User Facility (CUF) operations building is also expected to open next year.

Western Australia is already considered a world leader in automation for the mining sector.

“Development of the AARP is set to create at least 70 construction jobs, with up to 5,000 ongoing jobs in the fields of robotics, automation and remote operations expected to be generated after completion,” said WA lands minister John Carey.

“This government is focused on driving reform and supporting innovative businesses who will help transform and future-proof our economy, while creating skilled local jobs for the future.”

The new precinct, which will also include training facilities, could generate significant interest from international organisers delivering business events focussed on mining, automation, remote operations and robotics. The technology to be researched and developed at the precinct is part of a growing field globally.