I would like to take a moment to wish everyone the very best for a safe and happy festive season. Often this time of year provides us an opportunity to pause and reflect on what we have achieved, and think about how we survived the challenges we faced, and this year has certainly been a big one for both!
We saw once again, Australia's METS sector has proven to be resilient, responsive and adaptive in the support it provides to our nation through a time of challenge and upheaval. At the national level, the Australian METS sector enabled our mining industry to ‘keep on going’ through even the most uncertain periods of the pandemic.
We also saw many local METS companies jump in quickly and respond to the call for action, supporting many other parts of the community; from designing and building ventilators, to providing expertise around personal protective equipment, sharing worker health and safety systems and providing tools to enable volunteering programs.
We witnessed the rapid acceleration and widespread adoption of the Australian technologies that have enabled our remote resources sector to operate in a safe, sustainable and often and autonomous way. We saw proof of how the adoption of these technologies increases jobs, builds skills, and increases the performance of the sector and our economy.
We also saw the resilience of our METS companies, forging ahead with delivery and execution – such as 3ME's electric vehicle and Resolution Systems' IoT and digital twin solutions – two of our most recent collaborative projects that delivered on their objectives in the most challenging times.
In 2020, we were able to celebrate the global potential of our sector, as demonstrated in this year's Australian Technologies Competition entrants and the Queensland Mining Awards recipients. It was great to recognise the commercial strength of our METS companies who are delivering in other industry sectors, in emerging areas of national priority such as energy, space and defence.
As a consequence, our national capability is expanding further to meet these growing industry needs. World leading technology companies are engaging with the ERDi Interoperability Test labs in Western Australia; and participating in our local industry-led initiatives like the WISE IoT-focused program, the Mackay Resources Centre of Excellence, and technology clusters like the Robotics and Automation Group. There has been a dramatic increase in demand for our accelerator programs across the country, bringing together amazing companies who are at the forefront of innovation, with over half of the current participants from regional communities.
Together with BHP, METS Ignited has invested in the third major update of the Australia's METS sector survey undertaken by Austmine, the leading industry body for the METS sector. This survey attracted over 600 participants, who represent gross revenues of $97 billion, highlighting the important role that the Australian METS sector plays in the global economy.
The Federal Government announcement of Australia's Modern Manufacturing Strategy places the Australian METS sector at the forefront of economic recovery and growth. The Australian METS sector has a strong presence not only in Resources Technology and Critical Mineral Processing, but also provides key technology for other National Priority Sectors including Recycling and Clean Energy, Defence, and in Australia’s emerging Space sector.
While it is hard to ignore the magnitude of the challenges we faced this year, we should be extremely proud of Australia’s METS sector and how we responded to the needs of our local communities. How we adapted our business models to maintain the operations of our mining industry, how we showed resilience by continuing to deliver on our own technology roadmaps and commitments, and how we responded to the needs of others heavily impacted by the pandemic, in particular the needs of essential workers and those of our local health sector.
I would like to thank everyone for what we have managed to achieve throughout 2020, I continue to be impressed by the strength of our sector, and the unwavering commitment to a safer, stronger and more productive future. Here at METS Ignited our team is excited by the opportunities ahead; Australia’s METS sector has been recognised as a cornerstone of our modern manufacturing strategy, and this competitive advantage is a key part of our future national priorities.
We will be wrapping up the year on 18 December, and will be back onboard on 4 January. Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable festive season with your family, friends and loved ones.
Chief Executive Officer
METS Ignited Australia Ltd