Queensland government commits AU$3.3 million to new Toowoomba agtech hub

It'll serve as a space to build and test technologies such as drones and smart bots.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

The Queensland government has announced it will invest AU$3.3 million to establish an agtech and logistics hub in Toowoomba.

According to Minister for Innovation Kate Jones, the hub will serve as a space to build and test technologies, such as drones and smart bots, as well as for conducting industry workshops and forums to improve farming practices and supply chains.

"We have some of the world's leading experts in agriculture and ag technology. This hub will be a world-class centre to train workers and develop cutting edge technology and products," she said.

As part of creating the facility, the state government is now on the hunt for operators to establish and run the facility.

"People interested in establishing the hub and managing its operations for up to three years have an opportunity to tender, with the contract expected to be announced in August 2020," Jones said.

Submissions for the tender close July 13.

See also: Smart farming: How IoT, robotics, and AI are tackling one of the biggest problems of the century (TechRepublic)

Elsewhere, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Siemens, and German-based process automation company Festo have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish an industrial digital innovation hub focused on digital manufacturing and design.

RMIT said it hopes the hub, which will be based at RMIT, will enable the development of digital technologies across cultures, disciplines, and geographical locations, as well as allow the university to link its Australian and Vietnam campuses.

"We expect as many as 10,000 RMIT students across a range of disciplines in engineering, science, technology, health, and design to access some of the most advanced industrial software available over the next three years," RMIT College of Science, Engineering and Health deputy vice-chancellor Aleks Subic said.

"It has never been more important to provide this type of industrial digital environment for the development of workforce of the future, that allows collaborative interdisciplinary teams to co-design and co-create remotely across borders and industry sectors."

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