$21 million in Defence innovation grants awarded

Eight new contracts worth more than $21 million have been funded under the federal government’s $640 million defence innovation program.

FILE PHOTO (November 2018): A Bluebottle unmanned surface vessel operates in Jervis Bay during a capability demonstration. Bluebottle inventor Ocius was awarded $5.5million to develop the autonomous vessel further. Photo by Able Seaman Steven Thompson.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the latest funding boost through the Defence Innovation Hub would see the development of cutting-edge space, cyber and maritime technologies.

“The contracts were awarded to small businesses from across Australia, and two contracts with leading Australian universities,” Minister Price said.

“The University of Sydney has been awarded a $6.5 million contract to develop a new electronic receiver system.


“University of Sydney researchers will continue the develop a new imaging system that uses light manipulation technology to enhance real-time situational awareness for military operations.

“If successful, this technology could help to make decisions that will keep Australian troops safer in the battle space.

“Another contract, valued at $5.5 million, was awarded to Ocius, a small company that specialises in developing autonomous unmanned surface vessels.

“Defence’s partnership with Ocius will continue the development of its innovative Bluebottle vessel, which can conduct advanced maritime surveillance and communicate data in real time.

“This technology could provide the Royal Australian Navy with a unique capability to protect Australia’s maritime borders.”

Minister Price said the government had supported more than $200 million worth of innovative projects through the Defence Innovation Hub – and more than 80 per cent of this investment had been with micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

“Importantly, these investments have created hundreds of new Australian jobs, so we know we’re investing in the growth and capability of our defence industry,” Minister Price said.

Industry and research organisations can submit innovation proposals through the Defence Innovation Portal at www.innovationhub.defence.gov.au





Contract Value

Description of innovation

University of Sydney


$6.5 million To continue the development of a new imaging system that uses light technology to enhance real time situational awareness. If successful, this technology could improve the quality of the data and information to enhance decision making.
Solar Sailor Engineering Pty Ltd (Trading as Ocuis)


$5.5 million To continue the development of Bluebottle, an innovative unmanned surface vessel. If successful, this technology could provide the Royal Australian Navy with a unique capability to help protect Australian maritime borders.
Penten Pty Ltd


$5.4 million To continue the development of data protection products. If successful, this technology could provide protection of information that is processed, stored and transmitted from portable electronic devices.
UAV Vision Pty Ltd (trading as AVT Australia)


$1.9 million To develop a compact lightweight, high-definition video system that can be fitted to unmanned aerial vehicles. If successful, this technology could enhance reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities.
Quintessence Labs Pty Ltd  



$1.7 million To develop a system that can rationalise multiple IT systems into one online environment. If successful, this technology could be used when both physical space and power options are limited.
High Earth Orbit Robotics Pty Ltd


$270,000 To conduct research into de-centralised network technology that can be used to improve Defence’s situational awareness of the space domain.
RUAG Australia Pty Ltd


$270,000 Together with RMIT and Monash University, RUAG are seeking to develop a new technique for repairing hulls, armour and mechanical systems. If successful, this technology could offer significant sustainment benefits to the ADF by reducing costs and improving operational agility.
Deakin University


$260,000 To research the development of an Australian-based pilot training system for the Royal Australian Air Force. This would be Australia’s first high g-force training simulator offering the Air Force access to world-class training locally.






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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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