Australian Steel Institute (ASI) was recently invited to make a submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Australian Manufacturing Industry. The ASI submission highlighted the strategic importance of the Australian steel industry and included references to the successful Steel Research Hub. The submission outlines the positive associations between the Steel Research Hub and future policy, as well as some examples of strong industry and academic collaboration.
The submission ensures that the Australian steel industry is rightfully recognised as an advanced manufacturing leader, which utilises highly sophisticated process technologies that require a highly skilled and well-educated workforce to operate it. The ongoing training and replacement of the next generation of this workforce helps to underpin the engineering and science components of the excellent tertiary education system in this country, including both the vocational training and university sectors.
ASI promotes the model of the ARC Transformation Research Hubs scheme as an example of how collaborative co-funded academic research and development works. It was recommended that this scheme continue to be supported by the Commonwealth, and ideally expanded to a broader range of steel industry subsectors.
ASI stated “The Steel Research Hub based at the University of Wollongong is a world-leading institution that are developing and delivering innovative solutions and breakthrough technologies in steelmaking. Government and industry should continue to support the Steel Research Hub as an institution designed to enhance the advanced manufacturing capabilities of the Australian steel manufacturing and industry.”
The submission also touches on important issues such as policy support for Australian industry, domestic procurement, compliance with standards, anti-dumping and the transition towards ‘green steel’.
The Steel Research Hub strongly supports the ASI submission, and is committed to the ongoing support of the Australian steel industry through academic and industry collaboration to address issues which are not independently realisable. As stated by ASI: “It is clear the work of the Steel Research Hub should be continued, so Australia can keep pace with international competitors”.