Defence industry to get $1.6b investment

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Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, has announced the Government’s investment priorities for the Defence Innovation Hub for the coming year.

The Government has invested $1.6 billion into defence industry and innovation over the next decade, including $640 million to support the development of innovative technologies through the Defence Innovation Hub.

“The Defence Innovation Hub was established as a robust program to facilitate and explore the development of leading-edge technology and ideas in support of Defence capability,” Pyne said.

“Research and development (R&D) fuels innovation, so understanding our investment priorities up front will allow industry and research organisations to plan their R&D investments accordingly.

Since its launch in December 2016, the Defence Innovation Hub has seen a positive response from industry to the existing capability priorities which have been reconfirmed by Defence’s Force Gaps and Opportunities Analysis.

In the 2017–18 financial year, the Defence Innovation Hub will seek proposals aligned with six capability streams identified in the Defence Integrated Investment Program:

  • Intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, electronic warfare, space and cyber
  • Key enablers
  • Air and sea lift
  • Maritime and anti-submarine warfare
  • Strike and air combat
  • Land combat and amphibious warfare

Within these six capability streams, the top three priorities for investment in the 2017–18 financial year in priority order are:

Priority 1: Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, Electronic Warfare, Space and Cyber

These capabilities are critical to maintaining the Australian Defence Force’s decision-making superiority and ability to conduct operations safely and effectively.

In 2017–18, there will be an increased focus on ISREW enabling joint decision support, cyber and joint capability edge.

Priority 2: Key Enablers

Key enabling capabilities include critical infrastructure (such as bases, training ranges, ports and airfields), information and communications technology, logistics, science and technology, health services, and future energy resilience (including national and Defence fuel management).

Defence is seeking innovative proposals for new technologies, improved methods or practices, and better ways of integrating systems to strengthen these enabling capabilities.

In 2017–18, key enablers adds a focus on autonomous identification technologies.

Priority 3: Land Combat and Amphibious Warfare

Land forces require the mobility, firepower, protection and situational awareness capabilities to deploy quickly, achieve their objectives, and return home safely. Defence is seeking innovative submissions for leading-edge equipment to bolster our land forces in these capability areas, including amphibious warfare.

In 2017–18, land combat and amphibious warfare will add an increased focus on special operations capabilities.

The Defence Innovation Hub complements the Next Generation Technologies Fund as the two core initiatives of the new Defence Innovation System outlined in the Government’s Defence Industry Policy Statement.

These two signature innovation research and development programs, together with the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, deliver on the Government‘s $1.6 billion commitment to grow Australia’s defence industry and innovation sector.