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Australia launches the first Defence Cooperative Research Centre for Trusted Autonomous Systems

Australia launches the first Defence Cooperative Research Centre for Trusted Autonomous Systems

On 23 May, Australia launched
the first Defence Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Trusted Autonomous
Systems will be formally launched in Brisbane today at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation
(ICRA) 2018. 

According to Minister Pyne, the Defence CRC allows
Australia’s industry and research sectors to collaborate with Defence on
leading edge technologies such as autonomous systems to maintain the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF)
capability advantage.

The Defence CRC has been established to research and deliver
game-changing autonomous technologies to Defence, ensuring trusted and
effective cooperation between humans and machines.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP,
welcomed the CRC which was established under the Next Generation Technologies
Fund. 

“I am pleased the first Defence CRC, which is focused on
trusted autonomous systems, has got off to a fitting start at the world-leading
International Conference on Robotics and Automation,” said Minister Pyne.

To be headquartered in Brisbane, the Defence CRC for Trust
Autonomous Systems is chaired by Mr Jim McDowell, Chancellor of the University
of South Australia.

The Defence CRC will initially carry out three research
projects in the maritime, air and land domains led respectively by Thales
Australia, Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems. Inaugural founding company members
of the Defence CRC include BAE Systems Australia, DefendTex, RMIT University,
and Defence Science and Technology.

According to Minister Pyne, the CRC program is a tried and
tested model with a proven track record in translating research into
capability.

“Not only will Defence benefit with new capabilities,
Australian industry will improve its expertise and competitiveness in
autonomous technologies,” Minister Pyne said.

Credit: Defence Science and
Technology

The Defence CRC program is a key element of the Next Generation Technologies Fund which complements the Defence Innovation Hub as the two core initiatives of the new Defence Innovation System outlined in the 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement.

The Defence CRC program builds on the government’s
longstanding Cooperative Research Centre model with a specific focus on Defence
needs. It will link Australian researchers in industry, particularly Small to
Medium Enterprises (SMEs), universities and public-funded research agencies to
find solutions for Defence’s future technology challenges.

Defence CRCs will undertake mission-driven research projects
with a clear focus on delivering outcomes that are aligned to a defined set of
goals and objectives for the Australian Defence Force. Defence will determine
the research field for each CRC prior to its establishment.

Held annually, this year’s ICRA, a flagship
event for worldwide robotics researchers, is convened by Australia’s Chief
Defence Scientist Dr Alex Zelinsky.