Growing Australia's defence industry through innovation

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Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Melissa Price MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for Science and Technology

Media contacts

Kathy Quinn (Minister Price’s office): +61 468 369 301
Charlotte Butler (Minister Price’s office): +61 406 338 521
Defence Media:

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16 June 2020

The Morrison Government is continuing to invest in Australia’s defence industry, helping businesses create new jobs and develop their pioneering ideas through the Defence Innovation Hub.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP, today announced eight new contracts worth more than $21 million, funded under the Government’s flagship $640 million defence innovation program.

“This latest funding boost will see the development of cutting edge space, cyber and maritime technologies,” Minister Price said.

“The contracts were awarded to small businesses from across Australia, and two contracts with leading Australian universities.”

The University of Sydney has been awarded a $6.5 million contract to develop a new electronic receiver system.

“University of Sydney researchers will continue the development of a new imaging system that uses light manipulation technology to enhance real-time situational awareness for military operations,” Minister Price said.

“If successful, this technology could help to make decisions that will keep Australian troops safer in the battle space.”

Another contract, valued at $5.5 million, was awarded to Ocius, a small company that specialises in developing autonomous unmanned surface vessels.

“Defence’s partnership with Ocius will continue the development of its innovative Bluebottle vessel, which can conduct advanced maritime surveillance and communicate data in real time,” Minister Price said.

“This technology could provide the Royal Australian Navy with a unique capability to protect Australia’s maritime borders.”

The Morrison Government has supported more than $200 million worth of innovative projects through the Defence Innovation Hub – and more than 80 per cent of this investment has been with micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. 

“Importantly, these investments have created hundreds of new Australian jobs, so we know we’re investing in the growth and capability of our defence industry,” Minister Price said.

Industry and research organisations can submit innovation proposals through the Defence Innovation Portal at:




Contract Value

(GST incl.)

Description of innovation

University of Sydney


$6.5 million

To continue the development of a new imaging system that uses light technology to enhance real time situational awareness. If successful, this technology could improve the quality of the data and information to enhance decision making.

Solar Sailor Engineering Pty Ltd (Trading as Ocuis)


$5.5 million

To continue the development of Bluebottle, an innovative unmanned surface vessel. If successful, this technology could provide the Royal Australian Navy with a unique capability to help protect Australian maritime borders.

Penten Pty Ltd


$5.4 million

To continue the development of data protection products. If successful, this technology could provide protection of information that is processed, stored and transmitted from portable electronic devices.

UAV Vision Pty Ltd

(trading as AVT Australia)


$1.9 million

To develop a compact lightweight, high-definition video system that can be fitted to unmanned aerial vehicles. If successful, this technology could enhance reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities.

Quintessence Labs Pty Ltd             



$1.7 million

To develop a system that can rationalise multiple IT systems into one online environment. If successful, this technology could be used when both physical space and power options are limited.

High Earth Orbit Robotics Pty Ltd



To conduct research into de-centralised network technology that can be used to improve Defence’s situational awareness of the space domain.

RUAG Australia Pty Ltd



Together with RMIT and Monash University, RUAG are seeking to develop a new technique for repairing hulls, armour and mechanical systems. If successful, this technology could offer significant sustainment benefits to the ADF by reducing costs and improving operational agility.

Deakin University



To research the development of an Australian-based pilot training system for the Royal Australian Air Force. This would be Australia’s first high g-force training simulator offering the Air Force access to world-class training locally.

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