Joondalup Urban Robotics and Automation Precinct a Step Closer

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The Joondalup Council has voted to provide in-principle support for initiatives to establish Australia’s first urban robotics and automation precinct.

The aim is to build and attract national and global businesses to invest in robotics, automation, cyber, space and artificial intelligence in Joondalup and the northern corridor, and encourage a local supply chain.

A report has been commissioned to recommend a roadmap for, and assess the impact of, a robotics and automation precinct in Joondalup, and this will be presented to Council for consideration at a later date.

A dedicated precinct in Joondalup for the testing and development of robotics and automation technologies would bring together key global suppliers, researchers and regulators of autonomy and robotic products, services and systems with local firms, researchers and students.

A blueprint for Joondalup to become a focus centre for urban and service robotics by 2032, it would also include creating a world-class education hub and industry cluster that supports emerging business and creates training and employment opportunities for the local community and people and enterprises across the state.

It is envisaged that the project will include representation from government, the community, researchers and industry and will be responsible for the trial and testing of robotic equipment in the Joondalup area, operating in conjunction with the relevant government agencies.

Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob said the proposal is an innovative economic development opportunity that would increase job opportunities for Joondalup residents, and expand and diversify the City’s rates base.

“The City of Joondalup currently has limited population growth and will rely increasingly on public and private sector investment, innovation and entrepreneurship for economic growth to fund the delivery and enhancement of services to the local community,” Mayor Jacob said.

“This proposal has the potential to significantly grow the local economy over the next decade, as this growth sector will attract emerging industries, international investors, international talent and provide upskilling opportunities for all education networks in the Joondalup region.”

Another key component of the proposal is the approval process for autonomous vehicles and gaining permission to have a level four autonomous vehicle on the road in traffic, and being able to travel through controlled intersections.

“In the field of vehicle automation, level four vehicles can operate in self-driving mode, but must have a human driver who can over-ride and take control at any time,” Mayor Jacob said.

“This requires advocacy at a state and federal level for reform and regulatory change, and in-principle support from the City of Joondalup will enable the proponents to work with government agencies to progress the initiative.

“Joondalup is the first Innovation Hub announced by the State Government, and the development of an automation and robotics precinct in our City Centre and the region would further position Joondalup as a leader in digital development, and build on our existing capabilities.”

Mayor Jacob said the project’s vision is to create a global centre of research that will provide an accelerated knowledge transfer opportunity for local businesses, schools, and universities.

“This human capital and social infrastructure would, in turn, create a highly integrated environment and provide the foundations for a vibrant future in the City of Joondalup,” he said.

“It will encourage increased investment into local education to grow skills and research into automation and digital futures, strengthening Joondalup’s position of being the capital of cyber, and creating new and exciting jobs for our young people.

“Initiatives such as this project support our goal to be a Digital City that is home to innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.”