Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, today announced a $10 million investment program inviting researchers to develop innovative solutions to defeat improvised threats.
Minister Pyne said the widespread availability of low-cost, sophisticated technology is enabling our adversaries to deploy a diverse and ever-evolving range of improvised threats.
“Defeating improvised threats without casualties is a complex and tough problem that can only be solved through a collaborative effort involving multi-disciplinary research,” he said.
“This problem has been identified as the first Grand Challenge for industry, universities and research agencies under the Next Generation Technologies Fund announced last month.
“The aim of this Grand Challenge is to develop a research demonstrator that will detect and respond effectively to these threats without putting Defence personnel or civilians in harm’s way.”
“I strongly encourage Australian universities and companies to contribute to this grand challenge with their innovative solutions which will save the lives of Australian soldiers,” Minister Pyne said.
The Grand Challenges program is a key element of the $730 million Next Generation Technologies Fund designed to provide game-changing capabilities for the future Australian Defence Force.
A series of information sessions on the Grand Challenges program will be held in Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth in the week commencing 4 May 2017. Details are available on the Defence Innovation Portal. Submissions will close on 26 May 2017.
Proposals for the Grand Challenge are to be submitted through the Defence Innovation Portal (www.business.gov.au/cdic) where further information is available.