• The government's investment in innovative Australian defence industry businesses has surpassed $300 million. (Defence Innovation Hub)
    The government's investment in innovative Australian defence industry businesses has surpassed $300 million. (Defence Innovation Hub)

The government is investing $10 million in innovative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to strengthen Defence’s military capability.

The investment supports the Government’s new Blueprint for Critical Technologies and Action Plan, released by the Prime Minister on Wednesday. It also contributes to the development of a sovereign critical technology capability in AI, one of the Government’s nine listed critical technologies of national interest.

Minister for Defence Industry and Science and Technology Melissa Price today announced 10 new Defence Innovation Hub contracts funded under the Government’s two-year, $32 million COVID economic stimulus package.

The package was established to support jobs growth in the defence industry while navigating the challenges posed by the pandemic.

“These contracts will help develop exciting and new AI technologies,” Minister Price said.

“This will be achieved through the use of Defence’s intelligence mission data to improve situational awareness, and intelligent virtual reality to enhance simulation, modelling and training for our ADF personnel.

“Overall, these technologies have the potential to improve how our military train and operate. 

“Attracting businesses from the AI sector to partner with Defence is a positive step towards achieving this.”

Among the successful proposals is the South Australian-based company Lumination, which has been awarded a $1.9 million contract to develop an immersive visualisation platform using virtual reality and training simulation technology to provide highly realistic training scenario experiences. 

New South Wales company Droneshield received a $945,000 contract to develop an agile software system with the potential to detect and relay unknown signals directly to the operator. This would allow ADF personnel to focus on categorising unknown radio signals.

A $669,000 contract has been awarded to Victorian company Real Response to develop a highly realistic medical training simulator using AI. If successful, the simulator could adjust the difficulty of medical scenarios by measuring the stress response of trainees and enhance learning.

The other contracts announced were: Simbiant $2.2 million; Solinnov $1.4 million; Mellori Solution $920,000; Ignition Immersive $914,000; CAE Australia $644,000; CruxML $946,000 and Cirrus Real Time Processing Systems $464,000.

“These contracts will boost Australian businesses and build a strong sovereign capability that can develop and integrate world-leading AI technology into Australia’s Defence Force,” Minister Price said. 

The Defence Innovation Hub invests in a broad range of technologies at different phases of maturity from the early concept stage through to demonstration, prototyping and integration.

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