Australian small and medium enterprises have demonstrated they are well placed to deliver defence innovation with the announcement on the 27th of March that an Australian startup will receive an investment from a US defence prime.
Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, welcomed the announcement by US defence prime Boeing and their venture fund HorizonX Ventures that they are to invest in South Australian start-up telecommunications company Myriota. This is the first investment overseas by Boeing-backed HorizonX Ventures.
“Investing in Australian startups and industry shows Australia’s capacity for competing on the world stage, and that Australia is open for business,” Minister Pyne said.
“I commend Boeing for showing a willingness to invest in Australian industry. By doing so, they prove that the Australian defence industry is export ready.”
The investment by Boeing will contribute to Myriota’s recent funding rounds to launch satellites the size of shoeboxes to orbit 500 kilometers above Earth, as part of an internet-of-things network.
In September last year, Myriota and wearable technology company IMeasureU were selected from 47 quality industry and university applicants from across Australia and New Zealand to develop the equivalent of a Black Box for soldiers, known as the ‘Fight Recorder’, which uses Myriota’s technology for emergency beaconing to locate and aid injured soldiers.
When fully developed, the Fight Recorder could provide benefits in other physically demanding occupations, including emergency services and law enforcement.
The Defence funding for this project came from the Next Generation Technologies Fund. The Fund complements the Defence Innovation Hub launched last year, as the core of the new Defence Innovation System outlined in the 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.