Minister for Defence Materiel Dr Mike Kelly AM MP today called on Australian companies to participate in complex capability problem solving for Australian warfighters by announcing the latest ‘Invitation to Participate’ in Defence’s Rapid Prototyping, Development and Evaluation Program (RPDE).
“RPDE was established to help resolve difficult and challenging problems in the delivery of capability to the warfighter and continues to break new ground in the areas of cooperation and collaboration between Defence and the private sector,” Dr Kelly said.
“RPDE is a unique collaboration between industry, academic institutions and Defence.
“With more than 230 participants from defence industry, the academic sector and government agencies, this latest Invitation to Participate is seeking to expand on this pool of expertise.”
Dr Kelly said interest in joining the Program this year had been strong from both the defence and non-defence sectors.
“I envisage there are companies who have never thought about solving complex capability challenges for the Australian Defence Force because they do not necessarily operate in that space,” Dr Kelly said.
“But the changing operational environment for the warfighter demands ever more sophisticated and innovative solutions, and that is not the sole realm of established defence contractors.”
The 2010 Defence Industry Policy, Building Defence Capability, highlighted the importance of the RPDE program to Defence, particularly in supporting current operations.
“RPDE can accelerate change and harness Australian industry's intellectual capital unlike any other institution,” Dr Kelly said.
“It is a world leader in its field and an organisation of which Australia can be very proud. The commitment by the participant companies to work collaboratively with Defence helps ensure that our servicemen and women get the best capability possible.”
Any organisation responding to the Invitation to Participate must demonstrate expertise and skills in niche capability areas and address specific membership criteria. Prior Defence experience is not a requirement and there is no cost to join the Program.
Applications close 1300 hours (AEST) on Friday, 30 August. Applicants will be notified of the outcome in mid October. Applications and the Invitation to Participate (ITP) Pack are available from the RPDE website: www.rpde.org.au/publications
Dr Kelly's office: Robbie Rynehart 0459 810 654
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999