$44M AI Centres Almost a Reality


An injection of $44 million by the federal government will see the establishment of four Artificial Intelligence and Digital Capability Centres.

The Capability Centres will drive the commercialisation of Australia’s leading AI research and help to take it to new domestic and global markets.

The Centres will also give small and medium businesses access to AI expertise that they need to adopt and enable them to use AI solutions to help them grow and create more jobs.

The Centres form part of the Government’s $124.1 million AI Action Plan, which sets a vision for Australia to be a global leader in developing and adopting trusted, secure and responsible AI.

Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said the Government was delivering on the AI Action Plan, ensuring Australia was charging ahead in developing and adopting AI products and services.

“The Centres will act as a front door for SMEs to improve their AI skills in order to adopt AI products in their businesses,” Minister Price said.

“They will draw together industries, research institutions, innovation hubs and businesses to create an ecosystem that drives innovation, commercialisation and adoption of AI.

“By requiring the Centres to focus on a priority area we can tailor the support for businesses to drive our manufacturing capability.”

Each applicant will nominate a focus area in specific applications of AI that support the Government’s National Manufacturing Priorities under the Modern Manufacturing Initiative, or the Digital Growth Priorities under the Digital Economy Strategy, which aims to position Australia as a leading digital economy and society by 2030.

Grants of up to $11 million are available for each of the four new Centres. Applicants are required to submit joint applications with at least one industry partner and build on an existing technology, manufacturing hub or university.

The applicants must contribute 25 per cent of the total project’s expenditure and may provide additional in-kind contributions.

The new Centres will work alongside the National Artificial Intelligence Centre at CSIRO’s Data61 to strengthen Australia’s AI expertise and capabilities across multiple sectors.


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