• Credit: Pacific 2019
    Credit: Pacific 2019

Ten Australian innovators from both the defence and civil sector have been shortlisted from 44 entries for the prestigious Pacific 2019 Innovation Awards, worth $60,000.

In two unique ‘firsts’, one Australian innovator that submitted multiple entries for a portfolio of related, all‐new products has been honoured by being shortlisted as a single innovative company. Second, a group of young innovators has submitted a team entry for the Young Innovator Award for their collective work on a new naval technology.

The winners will be announced during the Pacific 2019 International Maritime Exposition at Sydney’s International Convention Centre (ICC) at Darling Harbour. The Awards include:

  • Pacific 2019 National Defence Innovation Award
  • Pacific 2019 National Civil Innovation Award
  • Pacific 2019 Defence SME Innovation Grant
  • Pacific 2019 Civil SME Innovation Grant
  • Pacific 2019 Young Defence Innovator Scholarship
  • Pacific 2019 Young Civil Innovator Scholarship

In addition, there are awards in four specialist categories, at the judges’ discretion, for innovation in unmanned systems, command and control, platforms and propulsion and maritime operations.

All Award winners will receive a trophy, while the winners of the SME Innovation Grants and the Young Innovator Scholarship will also receive cheques for $15,000 each. All 10 entries shortlisted for the Innovation Awards will be showcased at the Pacific 2019 International Maritime Exposition in Sydney.

Pacific 2019 CEO Ian Honnery said the Pacific 2019 Awards underline the innovativeness of Australian companies and young engineers, as well as a growing need for ‘smart’, innovative solutions to emerging operational challenges.

“Australia’s naval shipbuilding program will provide a spur for development and innovation for the next five decades,” Honnery said. “We want to ensure that Australian organisations are at the forefront of this innovation, commercialising the results of research and development as products and services that strengthen both our industry and our national defence capability.”

The shortlisted Innovation Award entries are:

  • Advanced Navigation (NSW) – Subsonus acoustic transponder for unmanned underwater systems
  • DMTC Limited (VIC) – High‐Velocity Oxygen Fuel (HVOF) thermal spray rust‐resistant coatings
  • Droneshield Limited (NSW) – for a portfolio of five innovative counter‐drone products
  • EM Solutions (QLD) – Cobra dual‐band satellite communications antenna
  • Solinnov Pty Limited (SA) – Bluebottle Software Defined Radio (SDR) App
  • The Whiskey Project (NSW) – Next‐generation tactical water craft
  • Ultra Electronics Avalon Systems (SA) – Naval platform signature management system

The shortlisted Young Innovator entries are:

  • Lawrence Marychurch, DroneShield Limited (NSW) – Design and development of counter‐drone equipment
  • Ryan McGrath, Thomas Churack and Jason Sardi, Thales Australia (NSW) – design and development work on ‘Bluescan’ sonar sensor management system for the HUNTER‐ class frigate
  • Harry Hubbert, RAN (NSW) – design, development and deployment of Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV) for mine warfare

The awards recognise and reward local companies and individuals at the forefront of naval and maritime innovation and carry with them a total of $60,000 in cash prizes. Since the Awards were first presented in 2013, the Aerospace Maritime Defence and Security Foundation of Australia Limited has presented Young Innovator scholarships and SME Innovation grants worth more than $350,000.

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