Headquarters for Defence CRC opens in Brisbane

The $50 million facility for the Defence Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) opened on July 4.

Officially launched in May 2018, the Defence CRC links researchers from industry, universities and government-funded research agencies with small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to produce technology which fits the future needs of the Australian Defence Forces.

The Brisbane-located Defence CRC was the first CRC for the defence industry and will focus on Trusted Autonomous Systems.

Inaugural founding members of the Defence CRC include BAE Systems, Australia, DefendTex, RMIT University and Defence Science and Technology.

Working in a mission-focussed model, the first three research projects were conducted in the maritime, air and land fields, and are led by Thales Australia, Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems, respectively.

According to Innovation Minister Kate Jones, the facility will draw on a history of innovation in this sector in Queensland.

“For more than 10 years, Queensland has been building a critical mass of expertise in the development of autonomous systems,” said Jones.

While the immediate application of the research projects will be in the defence sector, the CRCs are tasked with ensuring that their work benefits the wider industrial sector.

“The defence forces have a large presence in Queensland and our strong defence capability makes us a prime location for this centre that will bolster our growing defence ecosystem,” said Jones.

The CEO of the Defence CRC is Professor Jason Scholz, of UNSW Canberra.

The Defence CRC aims to produce self-sufficient, survivable, self-determining and self-aware systems.

The Defence CRC is funded through the Next Generation Technologies Fund and will create technology and intellectual property that will enable industry to participate in the defence industry ecosystem, while encouraging more efficient and competitive ways of working.

Participation in the CRC is not limited to those already involved. Participants must only be a company or research entity incorporated in Australia, or a Publicly Funded Research Organisation.