Innovation Hub invests $28 million in Australian Industry

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The Hon Melissa Price MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for Science and Technology

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12 October 2020

The second biggest contract ever awarded by the Defence Innovation Hub is among nine new contracts worth more than $28 million to have been signed with organisations across Australia.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the contracts were further evidence that the Morrison Government is continuing to back defence industry during COVID-19 by investing in innovative businesses and supporting jobs growth.

About 84 per cent of Defence Innovation Hub investment has now been with Australian small and medium sized businesses and research organisations.

“I’m delighted to see the Defence Innovation Hub continuing to provide Australian businesses with opportunities that could enhance Defence capability,” Minister Price said.

Two of these organisations, BlueZone Group and QinetiQ, were awarded contracts to further develop promising technologies that have previously received funding through the Defence Innovation Hub.

BlueZone Group won a second Defence Innovation Hub contract valued at more than $7 million – the Hub’s second biggest contract to date.

It will be used to continue the development of the Wave Glider Unmanned Surface Vehicle technology.

“BlueZone Group’s technology has the potential to greatly improve the Navy’s situational awareness when operating in marine environments,” Minister Price said.

QinetiQ was awarded a $4.8 million contract to develop an innovative technology that could be used to better regulate air quality in submarines.  

This system has the potential to offer significant improvements on existing systems by significantly reducing size, weight and power requirements.

“These contracts demonstrate the significant investment the Government is making in game-changing maritime technologies for our Navy,” Minister Price said.

The Defence Innovation Hub has awarded more than $270 million in innovation contracts since December 2016.

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





Contract Value

(GST incl.)

Description of innovation

BlueZone Group (UVS)


$7.1 million

BlueZone group is developing a sophisticated unmanned surface vehicle that can be integrated into Australia's future frigates. The platform can accommodate a range of payloads that could broaden the capabilities of Royal Australian Navy ships by extending their situational awareness while deployed on operations.



$4.8 million

QinetiQ is developing an innovative technology that will help to regulate air quality inside submarines. This new system has the potential to offer improvements over existing systems by significantly reducing size, weight and power requirements.

Thales Australia Limited


$3.8 million


Thales is developing its Blue Sentry autonomous sonar system that will seek to expand Australia’s surveillance capabilities in the maritime domain. This system will be integrated with the OCIUS autonomous Bluebottle technology being developed through the Hub.

Silentium Pty Ltd


$3.5 million

Silentium is continuing to develop its space surveillance passive radar technology. This new contract will allow Silentium to demonstrate a more mature and capable sensor in support of Defence space domain awareness.

Armor Composite Engineering


$3.2 million

ACE is continuing to develop its innovative curved body armour that can be worn by both male and female soldiers. This high quality material has the potential to greatly improve the safety of the wearer by reducing the likelihood of injury from ill-fitting body armour.

Defendtex Research Labs


$2.1 million

Defendtex is developing an enhanced drone platform that can be used across a range of operating environments. This technology has the potential to improve the safety of ADF personnel deployed on operations.

Mission Systems Pty Ltd


$2.1 million

Mission Systems is developing its mine neutralisation technology that seeks to enhance the safety of ADF personnel in the maritime domain.

Prism Systems Pty Ltd



Prism Systems is developing and demonstrating an integrated capability solution for the Royal Australian Navy. This innovation seeks to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of ship and aviation system integration flight trials through automating processes, analysis, recording, and reporting of data.

Spiral Blue Pty Ltd



Spiral Blue is developing a cutting-edge satellite imagery processing system capable of monitoring large geographic areas. This system offers great potential for ADF border security and surveillance operations by integrating an artificial intelligence system capable of analysing large amounts of data.

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