• Credit: BAE Systems
    Credit: BAE Systems

The Undersea Technology Innovation Consortium (UTIC) has announced the first UTIC Challenge, calling on academic institutions to propose innovative workforce development strategies in the undersea technology sector.

The challenge is open to teams from academic institutions located in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States and is designed to promote continued collaboration among the three nations participating in the AUKUS agreement.

In 2021, the AUKUS agreement established a tri-lateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The agreement promotes information and technology sharing and fosters integration of related undersea technology science and technology, industrial bases, and supply chains.

“The partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States is an opportunity to share both physical resources and intellectual capital to improve security and trilateral ties," said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"Maintaining long-term growth and innovation within AUKUS will require developing the future workforce. Industry and academia will need to partner to build a solid foundation for the next generation of innovators and manufacturers.” 

Participating teams will choose one of two categories for their response to the inaugural challenge. Based on their choice, teams will submit a position paper outlining their approach and strategy. The two categories are:

  • Strengthening the training environment for current/future technologists who develop critical undersea technology.
  • Strengthening the training environment for manufacturing professionals who build and support undersea technology applications.

UTIC will choose at least one winning team per category. Each winning team will receive a $15,000 award to be used for related scholarships or similar academic program investments, and their submission will be published and recognized on underseatech.org.

“UTIC looks forward to collaborating with academic innovators to foster sustainable growth in the undersea technology workforce," said Molly Donohue Magee, UTIC executive director. 

"AUKUS countries continually cultivate forward thinking, creative maritime defense professionals, and the goal of the UTIC Challenge is to expand upon this tradition.”

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