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Supporting investment in Australian Defence Capability and Innovation

"The Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, has kick-started a new era in encouraging industry to offer innovative solutions to protect Australian Defence Force lives in war fighting situations," Innes Willox, Chief Executive, Australian Industry Group said today.

The Government announced today the first Grand Challenges program, as part of its White Paper's $730 million Next Generation Technologies Fund. It is designed to encourage opportunities for companies, including start-ups, to work with Defence scientists and academic researchers to develop projects of material benefit to the Australian Defence Force.

"The first challenge identified by Defence aims to address Counter Improvised Threats, those which ADF personnel face on a daily basis in high-risk environments.

"Not only is it important to encourage strong industry participation in the Grand Challenges program, but also to protect intellectual property associated with company innovations, enabling dynamic companies to grow and prosper.

"Defence Science and Technology Group has identified nine technology areas for support in the Next Generation Technologies Fund including cyber security, integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and hypersonics, domains of direct relevance to expertise within Australian defence industry. The fund offers opportunities for agile, smart companies to contribute to the long-term health of the ADF," Mr Willox said.

Media Enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347