Bolstering investment in sovereign AI, robotics, and quantum computing technologies is the target of a new plan unveiled by the Labor opposition.
An Anthony Albanese-led Labor government has pledged to establish a $1 billion critical technologies fund, set up to facilitate increased private sector investment in the development of advanced capabilities, including artificial intelligence, robotics and quantum computing.
The funding would be delivered through loans, equity and guarantees for businesses in the critical technologies sector.
The new capital mechanism would be set up within the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund, previously announced by Albanese.
“Labor knows the value of high-tech jobs, and we are firmly focused on a bigger future for the industry,” Albanese said.
“Thanks to Labor’s $1 billion critical technologies fund, we will boost high-tech manufacturing, and create more Australian jobs.”
Shadow minister for industry and innovation Ed Husic said the initiative would help build sovereign capability.
“Our $1 billion critical technologies fund is an investment in building strategic industry capability in Australia, powering future economic growth, growing jobs – and avoiding a brain drain that is sapping our country of vital talent,” Husic said.
This announcement comes just days after Albanese committed $10 million to support Australian advanced manufacturing capabilities via the Flinders University Factory of the Future.
Set up in conjunction with BAE Systems, the Factory of the Future initiative is designed to enhance Australia’s manufacturing capabilities, hoping to enable Australian SMEs to integrate with major defence programs including the Hunter Class frigate program.
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The program is expected to engage over 200 SMEs.