Innovation investment drives technology development

Defence Innovation Hub team members will engage with key stakeholders at this month’s Indo Pacific Maritime Expo in Sydney.

CAPTION: An aerial image produced using Sentient Vision System’s Visual Detection and Ranging, or ViDAR, optical radar technology.

The international event brings military, academic, and industry delegates together for demonstrations and discussions about the future of maritime development.

The hub team will celebrate the success of partners such as Sentient Vision Systems, which was awarded the Indo Pacific 2022 SME Innovation Award.

Sentient Vision Systems won the prize for its ViDAR (Visual Detection and Ranging) Optical Radar Pod, which can assist maritime search and surveillance operations from helicopters. Sentient has been working with the Defence Innovation Hub to advance its ViDAR optical radar technology since 2018, and was recently awarded a $1.74 million contract to further enhance the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities of its technology.

Assistant Secretary Defence Capability and Innovation, Andrew Hodgkinson, said Defence Innovation Hub investments into companies such as Sentient Vision Systems were driving the development of cutting-edge technologies to enhance future ADF capability.

“Since the Defence Innovation Hub began operations in 2016, many technologies developed under its banner have either resulted in a contract with a Defence acquisition program, been employed in Defence training exercises, or are undergoing final stages of testing and evaluation,’ Mr Hodgkinson said.

“Innovation is key to Defence meeting the challenges of the changing strategic environment, and potential acquisition pathways are considered as an integral part of the evaluation process for every Defence Innovation Hub proposal.”

Another maritime partner, EM Solutions, secured export orders with a number of NATO country Navies in 2021 to provide its new primary satellite communication terminals, which were developed in partnership with the Defence Innovation Hub and Royal Australian Navy.

EM Solutions has now been issued with a limited tender for the development of the SEA1442 Phase 5 Primary and Alternate satellite communications system, to be delivered for the RAN’s major ship fleet.

Defence Innovation Hub contracts have supported more than 2000 jobs across Australia, and more than 80 per cent of the hub’s contracts have been awarded to innovative Australian small- to medium-sized businesses.

All Defence Innovation Hub projects are sponsored by a Defence Capability Manager. Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group and Defence Science and Technology Group contribute to the review of proposals submitted to the hub.

The Defence Innovation Hub is open year-round for the submission of new proposals. Three new defence capability focus areas for hub investment were announced on March 31.






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