The centre was launched today by federal Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne.
Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, and State Development Dr Anthony Lynham welcomed the news that the federal government had chosen Queensland as the location for the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) Industry Growth Centre.
“This is great news for our METS sector and our mining industry, and why the Palaszczuk government committed $6 million over four years to attract the centre to Queensland,” he said.
“Having the centre here gives us access to millions of dollars of research and development funding to develop and commercialise ideas from our METS sector and in our universities.
“This is about creating new business and export opportunities and jobs in an area where we already have a global reputation and international markets.
The METS Industry Growth Centre, to be located at the Queensland University of Technology, will be one of five centres established as part of the federal government’s Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.
It will be led by Gekko Systems founder Elizabeth Lewis-Gray.
“The launch of the METS Growth Centre is a crucial step in bringing together the skills, innovation and technology embedded within Australia’s globally renowned mining industry which is the ultimate beneficiary of these advanced research and development projects," she said.
“There are around 386,000 highly skilled employees in the METS sector in Australia. This workforce represents one of the largest and most highly skilled industry groups in Australia, producing leading edge technology and equipment for the mining industry, one of Australia’s biggest export earners.
“But the METS sector is largely invisible to the wider public. This METS Growth Centre is aimed at bringing this sector into the mainstream of Australian industry and representing the very best skills and research this country can offer.”
The federal government will provide $3.5 million per year over the next four years to support the operation of the centre, while the Queensland government will provide $6 million plus staffing support.
Queensland has more than 400 operating METS companies, more than any other state, employing about 60,000 people and worth $21 billion in gross revenue.
Lynham said the centre would fuel collaboration already underway within Queensland’s existing mining clusters.
“We already have CRC Mining , CRC ORE, and CSIRO Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies, more than 200 mining companies and more than a dozen industry associations and universities collaborating to develop better mining technology,” he said.
“The new growth centre will work with researchers and industry to find solutions to the mining industry’s challenges, including reducing production costs and innovative approaches to mine site rehabilitation."
The centre will focus on reducing regulatory burden, increasing collaboration and commercialisation, improving international engagement capabilities, and enhancing management and workforce skills.