Auto innovation lab to drive industry and jobs

Victorian manufacturers will be better equipped to design and make more innovative products for the global automotive market with a $640,000 funding boost.

On October 24, the Victorian government announced the funding for a new Automotive Innovation Lab.

Minister for industry and employment Ben Carroll said Victoria is a leader in automotive design and engineering and it will thrive with the help of the new lab.

“The Auto Innovation Lab will cement Victoria’s place as a leader in advanced manufacturing and will drive growth in the aftermarket industry,” said Carroll.

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The lab will have the high-tech equipment, tools, vehicles and latest digital technologies to enable businesses to innovate, design, test and create automotive aftermarket products.

Led by the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), the lab will feature a dedicated on-site training facility to help smaller organisations and startups develop new products and grow their capability.

It will offer advanced manufacturing services including 3D scanning and printing, measuring sessions, technology transfer and computer aided design.

With these testing facilities now to become available in Australia, companies will save time and costs in designing and delivering new products.

The lab will benefit advanced manufacturers across a broad range of industries and help create more than 600 jobs across the automotive aftermarket manufacturing sector.

The AAAA is the national industry association representing manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, importers and retailers of automotive parts and accessories, tools and equipment, as well as providers of vehicle service, repair and modification services across the country.

Victoria’s manufacturing industry contributes $27.7 billion to the Victorian economy, with over 13,000 businesses employing 288,000 people.

It also exported $18.16b of manufactured goods in 2016-17.

Victorian manufacturing is thriving, with the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing growth of over 6,700 jobs from August 2017 to August 2018.

The growth in manufacturing is backed by the Victorian government’s $130m in manufacturing support, which is creating over 6,000 jobs and driving $1.6b in private investment.