Bright ideas of Aussie small businesses on display at UNSW Canberra

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The Hon Melissa Price MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for Science and Technology

Phillip Thompson OAM MP

Member for Herbert

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Ben Spencer (Minister Price’s office): +61 468 369 301

Charlotte Butler (Minister Price’s office): +61 406 338 521

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23 October 2020

Joint Media release

  • Phillip Thompson OAM MP, Member for Herbert 

Innovative start-ups and small technology businesses that are developing bright ideas to support Australia’s defence capability have today showcased their new concepts to Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price.

UNSW Canberra established Launch on Northbourne, a Defence and Security Innovation Space in the Canberra City, to give businesses the opportunity to work together on ground-breaking concepts.

Minister Price, who joined a virtual tour of the event, said she was very impressed with the talent on display as the businesses worked together towards a shared goal of improving Australia’s security.

“Today I witnessed the incredible potential of Australian small and medium sized businesses in this space,” Minister Price said.

“The Morrison Government recognises that sustained investment in research and innovation is critical to ensuring our Australian Defence Force maintains its capability edge.”

The companies showcased at today’s event included:

  • Skykraft, which is building a constellation of satellites to monitor air traffic globally with operations commencing in 2023;
  • Fifth Domain, which has worked with the Defence Science and Technology Group to deliver the annual ADF Cyber Skills Challenge;
  • Terra Schwartz Cyber, which is developing an Australian sovereign cyber-security system and which recently received a $420,000 Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grant to develop an Australian sovereign cyber-worthiness system;
  • Cognitive Advantage, which is working on technologies around the ‘internet of things’; and
  • Viden, which is undertaking important high-tech cyber work in the defence sector.

The Morrison Government is investing almost $3 billion in Defence innovation, science and technology over the next decade, including $1.2 billion for the Next Generation Technologies Fund and $800 million for the Defence Innovation Hub.

“These investments will continue to underpin Defence’s commitment to innovation, encourage engagement from Australia’s university and industry sectors, and will complement the national skills agenda,” Minister Price said.

Member for Herbert and veteran Phillip Thompson attended today’s event and said he was impressed to see the ingenuity of Canberra small businesses.

“It’s great to see that we’re always evolving when it comes to the technology that keeps our ADF members safe and this facility is only going to accelerate that,” Mr Thompson said.

“I’m sure it won’t be long before these technologies are being used by the ADF back home in Townsville.”

Started in 2019, UNSW Canberra’s Launch on Northbourne is a shared work space facilitating engagement between industry, government and academia to develop defence and security capability, talent and technology.

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