New defence fund to help create ‘super soldiers’

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Australia’s Department of Defence has launched a $730m Next Generation Technologies Fund to help invest in technologies which will help Australian soldiers on the ground.

The new ten-year fund, to be run out of the Department’s Defence Science and Technology Group will invest in nine multidisciplinary areas including cyber security, space capabilities, quantum technologies, soldier enhancement, autonomous vehicles, medical technology for soldiers, integrated recon and surveillance and advanced sensors. 

Minister for defence industry, Christopher Pyne, said that the Fund is the first time the department has directed funding is such a long term and focussed way.

“This is a ten year strategic research and development program that will deliver game-changing capabilities for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) of the future,” Pyne said. 

“This fund will draw on the collective scientific expertise of our nation across both industry and university sectors, to give the ADF a winning edge with advanced technologies.”

Minister Pyne said the NGTF would also establish Defence Cooperative Research Centres, university research networks, a Defence research accelerator scheme, an innovation research initiative for small business, and expanded technology fore-sighting activities.