• Australian Army sappers conduct a CBRN demonstration at Holsworthy Barracks. Credit: Defence
    Australian Army sappers conduct a CBRN demonstration at Holsworthy Barracks. Credit: Defence

Leidos Australia has opened a $12 million research and development co-working facility in Canberra to facilitate innovation and collaboration among industry partners. 

The global information technology company has also signed two research agreements with Australian universities.

Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said the Leidos Connect collaboration space will provide a networked environment that supports ICT, big data analytics, simulation, security, cyber and related capabilities which are of interest to Defence. 

“This is a great initiative to foster innovation and collaborative activity in a technology-rich shared environment.  

“Such collaboration spaces are becoming the norm for enterprising companies and universities to come together and collaborate on resolving complex problems faced by Defence and other government agencies.”

The two research agreements signed by Leidos Australia with the University of NSW and Monash University will enhance force protection measures for Defence in the biological security and medical fields.

“The agreement with the University of NSW (UNSW) focuses on research to minimise biological, chemical and radiological threats while the agreement with Monash University is focused on medical countermeasures and the development of new devices, diagnostics and clinical tools," Minister Pyne said. 

Citing increasing political instability and rising global tension and the resulting increase in the threat of unconventional attacks, Leidos Australia technical director Dan Brewer said the partnership will support improvements in detection and response to mitigate the threat of chemical, biological, and radiological weapons for the Australian people and their allies.

“The broader application of this research will help first responders handle hazmat situations like industrial chemical releases and drug labs more effectively, as well as help Australian health officials respond more effectively to emergent diseases like Avian Flu, Tuberculosis, MERS, and antibiotic resistance.”

The UNSW MoU was signed by School of Public Health and Community Medicine head Professor Raina MacIntyre and Brewer.

MacIntyre welcomed the MoU and investment and said this sort of collaboration between industry and academia “is very important because it enables us to find new ways to solve problems together”.

One PhD research student at each University will be funded under the agreements.

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