Australia announces 3 new Defence Innovation Hub contracts to boost defence industry

Recently, it was announced that three Australian businesses have been awarded contracts through the Defence Innovation Hub to further develop innovative technologies to maintain a war fighting advantage.

As reported earlier, the Australian Budget 2018-19 committed over A$36 billion in defence technology and industry. The Budget maintains the Australian Government‘s commitment to provide Defence with a stable and sustainable funding with the Defence budget growing to two% of GDP by 2020–21. The Government will provide Defence with A$36.4 billion in 2018–19 and A$160.7 billion over the forward estimates.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said the contracts totalling over A$1.2 million demonstrates the Government’s commitment to supporting local Defence industry and harnessing its innovation potential while developing new capabilities.

The three contracts are:

(1)    A$659,000 for Aerospace and Mechanical Consulting Engineers Pty Ltd to develop a lightweight armour solution for the Australian Defence Force aircraft using panels designed with new materials and ballistic protection level,

(2)    A$293,000 for Unmanned Aerial Systems Pty Ltd to combine features of a helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft in order to increase performance, efficiency and capability, and

(3)    A$287,000 for Defence Materials Technology Centre Limited to invent an armour for soldiers that is lightweight with improved protection levels and functional integration.

“The Defence Innovation Hub is supporting Australian industry throughout all development stages of the innovation process; from concept exploration and technology demonstration, through to prototyping and integrating capability demonstration and evaluation,” Minister Pyne said.

According to Minister Pyne, investing in Defence innovation will not only build the innovation capabilities of Australian industry and research organisations, it will also deliver innovative capability solutions for use by Defence.

Funded at around A$640 million over the decade to 2025-26, the Defence Innovation Hub accepts proposals on innovations at all stages, from early stage concept exploration and technology demonstration through to advanced prototypes for integration, test and evaluation.

Earlier in March, the Australian Government announced the second tranche of Defence Innovation Hub investments worth A$12.3 million, looking at the exploration of innovation technologies from unmanned undersea glider for surveillance to quantum cybersecurity and 3D sensors for threat monitoring in conflict zones. Minister Pyne also announced five innovation contracts as investments of the Defence Innovation Hub. The contracts worth A$5.3 million in total.

Industry and research organisations can continue to submit proposals through the Defence Innovation Portal.

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