$19 million to counter improvised threats


Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, has announced the winners of the Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge, an initiative of Defence’s Next Generation Technologies Fund (Next Gen Tech Fund).

Minister Pyne said $19 million had been awarded to universities and companies in South Australia ($5.5 million), Victoria ($4.5 million), Queensland ($3.9 million), Western Australia ($2.9 million) and NSW ($2.4 million).

“Over 200 submissions were received and 40 proposals were shortlisted before the final winners were selected,” he said.

“Thirteen high-quality proposals from universities, industry and small business across five Australian states have been selected to develop technology solutions to combat growing threats to our nation’s security.

“These solutions will be delivered through a collaboration of 26 different organisations, representing a research effort spanning the national innovation enterprise.

“The successful proposals were received from the University of South Australia, University of Adelaide, University of Western Australia, University of Queensland, Flinders University and Queensland University of Technology as well as Lockheed Martin, CSIRO, L3Micreo, DefendTex, Teledyne, Tectonica and Rfteq.

“The large number of proposals proves the depth of innovative ideas in the research community with the potential to support Defence capability.

“The outcomes of the winner’s proposals will be developed over the next four years into a single, prototype threat detection and defeat system, led by Defence.

“This will be a game-changing capability and I look forward to its implementation in saving Aussie lives and property,” Minister Pyne said.

The challenge, in its first year, seeks proposals from industry and academia to address the ever-growing incidence of improvised threats to Defence personnel and the public.

Next Gen Tech Fund complements the Defence Innovation Hub 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.