CSIRO chief scientist Bronwyn Fox chairs government advice group on robotics strategy

- December 13, 2022 2 MIN READ
Prof Bronwyn Fox
Professor Bronwyn Fox, the CSIRO Chief Scientist
CSIRO Chief Scientist Professor Bronwyn Fox has been appointed chair of a new National Robotics Strategy Advisory Committee to help guide Australia’s strategy for emerging automation technologies.

Industry and Science Ed Husic announced Prof Fox’s new role, along with the rest of the committee, which includes Mike Zimmerman from VC Main Sequence, ahead of its first meeting today.

Husic said the committee will develop a strategy that ensures Australia harnesses the opportunities from robotics and automation, from advanced manufacturing to agriculture.

“We have brought together some of the nation’s leading robotics and technology thinkers and practitioners to guide the way we develop and use robotics,” he said.

“Australia has a lot of the key elements that can help in the development of national robotics capabilities: our people, research and manufacturing skills. And while we’re recognised as possessing strength in field robotics, we can do better, across a wider range of activities.

“We also want to ensure that we develop our robotic strength alongside human skills, delivering secure well-paid jobs.”

The Minister said robotics companies were estimated to be worth $18 billion in annual revenue for the local economy in 2021, a 50% increase on three years earlier.

“Australian made and maintained robotics and automation systems have the potential to boost local manufacturing, open up export opportunities and create safer and more productive work environments,” Husic said.

“The $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund… will allocate up to $1 billion to improve Australia’s critical technology capability, in areas such as quantum; robotics; and artificial intelligence.”

National Robotics Strategy Advisory Committee members are:

  • Associate Professor Catherine Ball, Australian National University
  • Mr Andrew Dettmer, National President, Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union
  • Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte, NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer
  • Professor Bronwyn Fox (Chair), Chief Scientist, CSIRO
  • Dr Sue Keay, Founder and Chair, Robotics Australia Group
  • Professor Simon Lucey, Director, Australian Institute of Machine Learning
  • Associate Professor Julia Powles, Director, UWA Minderoo Tech & Policy Lab
  • Mr Mike Zimmerman, Partner, Main Sequence Ventures