A new Innovation Hub is set to supercharge Australia’s prefabricated building industry, potentially creating thousands of new jobs and adding up to $30 billion to the economy, according to an AMGC press statement.
The federal government has provided $2 million to the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) to fund and manage the new hub, following a feasibility study.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the Prefab Innovation Hub forms part of a coordinated national network of Innovation Labs, which will harness existing research and business capability across Australia.
“The establishment of this hub couldn’t be timelier for the sector as it looks to rebuild after COVID-19 and assists in the bushfire recovery,” Andrews said.
“The hub will work to increase collaboration between industry and researchers, and support new technologies and innovations that provide smarter, cheaper, faster and more sustainable construction solutions.”
“This is about meeting the needs of our local building and construction industry and driving innovation that will see Australia greatly increase our exports and become a key player on the global stage.”
AMGC Managing Director Dr Jens Goennemann said that the Prefab Innovation Hub will build new capabilities in the manufacturing industry and construction sector.
“This Prefab Hub will connect recognised research institutions and industry bodies that have experience in this area to form a network of Prefab Innovation Labs across Australia,” Goennemann said.
“The purpose of these labs is to help drive skills, accelerate adoption of new technology, formulate regulatory proposals, identify new procurement pathways, and recommend new funding mechanisms – all to support a burgeoning prefab construction industry.”
PrefabAUS chair Damian Crough said there was enormous potential for prefabricated construction to support ‘shovel ready’ projects.
“More than at any other time, prefabrication offers viable, necessary and relevant alternative construction options delivering significant gains in quality, productivity and affordability,” Crough said.
Prefabrication covers a wide range of buildings, including tiny houses, larger homes and offices.
The hub will build on the government’s $28 million commitment to establish the Building 4.0 Cooperative Research Centre.