• One of UNSW’s defence skills is designing small cubesats.
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    One of UNSW’s defence skills is designing small cubesats. Defence
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UNSW will showcase its defence research capabilities to Australian and international force planners and defence companies at its latest defence research showcase in October at its Kensington campus. The event follows the Pacific 2019 International Maritime Exposition at the ICC.

 “UNSW delivers real research impact across the emerging technology areas of direct interest to defence,” Professor Brian Boyle, UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Enterprise, said. “We bring together industry and university research teams from around the world with defence subject matter experts to tackle wicked problems and create globally disruptive, new Australian industry capabilities.”

The ‘Defence R&D – An Instrument of National Power’ showcase event will be held in UNSW’s Leighton Hall on the morning of Friday 11 October. It will exhibit research by some 40 teams from across UNSW.

After a keynote by Professor Brian Boyle, senior defence industry and technology leaders - including Brad Yelland, Chief Technology Officer of BAE Systems Australia Limited; Kerry Lunney, Chief Engineer of Thales Australia; and Vice Admiral Paul Maddison (Ret’d), Director of UNSW’s Defence Research Institute – will share their insights on defence R&D and emerging technology in a short panel discussion. Attendees are encouraged to engage with UNSW research teams and technology specialists afterwards.

Designed to partner researchers with industry, it is for companies of all sizes. UNSW has experience in preparing applications for research grants and other funding to help smart but cash-poor SMEs undertake and then commercialise R&D. There is $1.3 billion available through the Defence Innovation Hub and Next Generation Technologies Fund (NGTF) alone for this purpose. Plus, there are other grants available through AusIndustry’s Accelerating Commercialisation and Innovation Connection programs.

“We can help form links with high technology companies and researchers overseas – we’ve been doing this successfully for years,” Professor Ian Gibson, Associate Dean, Industry and Innovation of UNSW Engineering, said.

UNSW has partnered with DST to design and launch the Buccaneer 1 ‘cube-sat’. It has also worked with the RAAF, the US Air Force and DST on Space Situational Awareness (SSA); the US and Australian Armies on trusted autonomous systems; companies including Lockheed Martin and GE Aerospace on advanced composites, Naval Group on acoustic material, Thales Australia on optical sonar technologies, and Leidos and 3M on bio-threat response; the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research on ferroelectric materials for sonar; and with non-defence partners on technologies as varied as hypersonics, artificial intelligence (AI), photovoltaics, and microwave and millimetre wave devices for mobile and satellite communications.

“Defence industry policy is designed to hone the ADF’s operational edge while strengthening its essential high-technology industry base,” VADM (Ret’d) Maddison said.

“That edge is the product of targeted R&D and then commercialisation by teams from industry, academia and defence. We understand that R&D is expensive, especially for SMEs, but UNSW can help with access to funding, and by making every research dollar count. We can do R&D efficiently, and target it on the needs of both ADF end-users and industry partners to create new products and capabilities.”

Registration is available here.

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