Investing in innovation to boost Defence capability

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The Hon Pat Conroy MP

Minister for Defence Industry

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media@defence.gov.au

(02) 6277 7840

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27 September 2022

 

The Defence Innovation Hub has awarded contracts worth $27 million to ten Australian businesses, including a Tasmanian research organisation.

The Australian Government is committed to building strong partnerships with Australian innovators to deliver world leading capability for the Australian Defence Force.

“Investing in Australian innovation is critical to building our national defence capability,” said Minister Conroy.

“The contracts being announced reflect the ingenuity of Australia’s defence industry, and the Albanese Government’s commitment to building a strong sovereign industrial base.”

Defence is partnering with Tasmanian innovator, AMC Search, through a $2.07 million contract to develop a set of sovereign sensor modules for autonomous underwater vehicles, which could improve the efficiency and endurance of maritime platforms.

Three contracts are with Queensland based companies, collectively worth $10.4 million. These projects aim to develop technologies to strengthen training capabilities and operational effectiveness for the Australian Army.

Under a $4.08 million contract, Athena AI will develop an automated decision support tool. This innovation aims to apply artificial intelligence to provide rapid guidance to the user when making tactical decisions under pressure.

A $3.72 million contact with CUBIC Defence Australia will look to develop a deployable waste-to-energy system, with the potential to convert waste into sanitised bio-fuel to provide additional power to bases.

In Queensland, a $2.63 million with BIA5 will allow it to continue developing an innovative electronic trip flare device which could assist our soldiers to effectively secure and guard areas on the modern battlefield.

Two contracts, collectively worth $3.6 million, have been awarded to South Australian based companies to develop technologies to improve maritime safety.

A $3.17 million contract with BAE Systems Australia will develop a long range passive surveillance sensor system that could provide an early warning capability for incoming threats; and a $437,000 contract with Acacia Systems aims to develop an immersive platform to enhance decision maker capability using maritime command team tactical data and recordings of operator stress, fatigue and actions.

Industry and research organisations can submit innovation proposals through the Defence Innovation Portal at: www.innovationhub.defence.gov.au

New contracts announced under the Defence Innovation Hub

Organisation

State

Contract Value

(GST incl.)

Description of innovation

Mission Systems

NSW

$5.51 million

To develop a unique radar system for small and medium uncrewed aerial systems that could deliver enhanced radar imagery for Army capabilities.

Penten Pty Ltd

ACT

$4.10 million

To develop an innovative method for active cyber defence using artificial intelligence that could provide cyber protection for Defence applications.

Athena Artificial Intelligence Pty Ltd

QLD

$4.08 million

To develop an automated decision support tool. If successful, this innovation will apply AI capabilities to provide rapid guidance to the user when making tactical decisions.

 

CUBIC Defence Australia Pty Ltd

QLD

$3.72 million

To develop a deployable waste-to-energy system using microwave energy to convert waste into sanitised bio-fuel that could provide additional power to bases and improve waste management for the deployed Land Force.

BAE Systems Australia Limited

SA

$3.17 million

To develop a long range passive surveillance sensor system that could provide an early warning capability for incoming threats, reduce data bandwidth and power consumption.

BIA5 Pty Ltd

QLD

$2.63 million

To continue the development of an innovative electronic trip flare device, allowing soldiers to more effectively secure and guard areas on the modern battlefield.

AMC Search Limited

TAS

$2.07 million

To develop a set of sovereign sensor modules for autonomous underwater vehicles. If successful, this technology could extend the capabilities of existing and future autonomous underwater vehicle platforms in the maritime domain.

Tectonica Australia Pty Ltd

VIC

$874,000

To develop a sophisticated rifle mounted sensor using thermal weapon sight that could improve shot accuracy for soldiers during day or night operations.

Outlander Solutions Pty Ltd

ACT

$698,000

To develop a battlefield command, control and situational awareness software system using artificial intelligence to graphically represent the common operational picture using modern gaming technology. If successful, this could reduce cognitive burden and visualise real world operational scenarios for Defence capability.

Acacia Systems Pty Ltd

SA

$437,000

To develop an immersive platform using maritime command team tactical data and recordings of operator stress, fatigue and actions. If successful, this innovation offers to significantly enhance decision maker capability for Defence.

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